Balancing work and parenting can be hard for most people, but there can be a multitude of additional challenges if you are the parent of a child with special needs. Ensuring that you are supported throughout this process and beyond is incredibly important:

1. Openness

Ensure that your company is completely aware of your situation regarding your child. It is integral that you feel able to talk openly about your circumstances should you need to.

2. Flexibility

Ensure that your company can be flexible to your requirements. For example, if you are called away suddenly from work due to an emergency with your child, they have other staff in place that are aware and up-to- date on your projects. Allowing you to leave and be assured that your work is being well looked after. Also, discuss with your company the ability to work from home on certain days, or during emergencies, and perhaps consider compressed hours. Alternatively, you may be able to bank hours so you can work them later if you have to leave the office due to an emergency with your child.

3. Childcare

It can be hard to leave your child to be looked after by another person, so you must make sure that you are entirely happy with the care you have chosen. Also, ensure that you have adequate care to cover all hours that you work, whether that is after school care or holiday clubs. There are resources out there to help you identify the perfect childcare solution for you and your child’s needs. For example, the local council’s Family Information Service should be able to provide guidance on local childcare, clubs and other resources.

3. Team work

If you have a partner, ensure that you are both on the same page. Communication and patience is so important from both sides, and so having a conversation early on about the division of responsibilities once you are back at work is integral. Creating a happy and positive environment for you, your partner and your child is key and communication is the first step in achieving this.

4. Support

Financial concerns can become overwhelming and so every little bit helps. Make sure that you are receiving everything you are entitled to, this includes government schemes and benefits (this is another area your local council should be able to advise you in) as well as any further compensation you may be due. If your child’s disabilities have occurred due to negligence or misdiagnosis you may be entitled to compensation. Specialists like First4SeriousInjury can advise on whether you are eligible to make a claim and support you through the process of receiving any compensation owed to you.

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