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Caring for a child or young person

The following information provides some general information for parents or carers looking after a child or young person with a disability, special educational needs (SEN) or a chronic health condition. It also provides links to other organisations in Croydon who may be able to provide further support. Our Caring for a Child factsheet has more information and a list of useful contacts.

Information and advice

The Croydon Local Offer provides information on local services for disabled children and young people and their families and carers.

Short breaks for families

All local authorities (councils) must offer a Short Breaks Statement for Disabled Children. Short breaks can include: after school clubs, holiday clubs, care for your child in the home during the day, overnight care and residential care. In Croydon, you may be able to access many short breaks, such as youth clubs, after school clubs and the annual summer scheme, without having an assessment. You can find information about Croydon short breaks on Croydon Council’s website or by contacting the 0-25 SEND Social Care Service on 020 8726 6400.

Getting more support

For children with more complex needs, you may receive more ongoing support from children’s social care. In Croydon, the 0-25 SEND Social Care Team supports children and young people with a permanent and substantial physical and/or learning disability. You can contact them on 020 8726 6400 and ask for an assessment of your child's needs and your needs as a family.

Please bear in mind that having an assessment does not necessarily mean you will receive support services; you will only receive support if your child is assessed as having eligible needs.

Benefits and financial support

The benefits system can be complicated, but don’t let that put you off; there is support available to ensure you are claiming everything your family is entitled to. Download our Money Matters factsheet or contact us for more information.


Children learn at different rates and in different ways, and some children may need additional support at school. Mainstream schools support children with a wide range of SEN, and it is important that your child is properly included and supported at school.

If the school can’t meet your child’s needs out of their own resources, your child may need an Education, Health and Care assessment. This is the first step towards assessing what support your child needs for an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP). An EHCP explains how the Local Authority will meet a child’s special educational needs. It should cover educational needs but also include relevant health and social care needs.

In Croydon, KIDS (SENDIAS) offers information and advice on education, special educational needs and EHCPs. Nationally, you can also book a telephone appointment with IPSEA.

Leisure and holidays

It’s important that disabled children are included as much as possible in mainstream leisure activities and clubs in their local community. However, there are also specialist activities and clubs available. Download our Leisure and Holidays factsheet for information about local leisure activities, holidays and financial help.

Useful contacts

0-25 SEND Social Care Service supports disabled children and young people or children and young people with SEN aged 0-25 and their families. Contact them for information about assessments, the Local Offer, Short Breaks and the disabled children register.

Contact (formerly Contact a Family) is a national charity for families with disabled children. They provide information, advice and support to families, including a general helpline, education helpline, comprehensive information on their website and local parent support groups.

KIDS (SENDIAS) provides support to children and young people in Croydon with a disability or special educational needs (SEN). Can support with Education, Health and Care Plans, preparing for adulthood, solving disputes with schools and professionals and support with meetings. Offers regular drop in sessions at the Carers Support Centre.

Parents in Partnership supports parents of disabled children and young people or children and young people with special educational needs (SEN) between 0 – 25 years old living in Croydon. Their Family Link Workers can provide you with information, advice and emotional support. They can also direct or refer you to relevant support services in the borough. Contact them by">email.

SENDirect is an online directory and information hub for families with a child with a disability or SEN created by a consortium of nine charities.

The information above is for general information purposes only. If you need specific information or advice regarding your caring situation, contact us.

Please be aware that external websites are linked to for information purposes only and the Carers Information Service are not responsible for their content.

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