Social work for children with disabilities

A social worker works with parents and others caring for a child with a disability. Social workers will often see you on your own. This is so you can speak freely without your child.

Sometimes, social workers organise group sessions for parents of children with disabilities to meet each other and share experiences.

They may see you and your family at your house or in a children’s disability services centre.

As a child gets older the focus of social work may include working directly with the children and young people themselves, both individually and through groups.

What a social worker does

A social worker may be able to help you by providing:

  • space and time to think about the emotional impact of their child attending a service, their diagnosis or extra needs
  • opportunities to discuss how your child’s disability affects other family members
  • support to develop the extra skills needed in parenting a child with a disability
  • help to find resources in the community that may be of benefit to your child and family
  • help with applications for benefits and services, for example to access the social welfare system, navigate the housing system
  • opportunities to connect with other families of children with disabilities through meetings and discussions at the various stages, or around common experiences, of a child’s life
  • connections with support groups in the community
  • support when you're facing additional challenges, for example, problems with health, relationships or money

They can also help you with referrals to other services, if you need them. They work closely with the other members of the children’s disability team.

Page last reviewed: 10 May 2019
Next review due: 10 May 2022