By Association for Children with a Disability (ACD)
How do you summarise everything that parenting or caring for a child with special needs encompasses? How do you balance the need for optimism and hope for your child’s future with a realistic picture of the day-to-day struggles and the toll this role takes on you as a parent, and the family as a whole?
Writing a Carer Impact Statement can be an emotionally savage experience, but it is one of the most important documents you provide as part of your child’s NDIS planning. Association for Children with a Disability has this advice to help get you started.
WHAT IS A CARER IMPACT STATEMENT?
This is a one-page statement about your daily life and the informal support you provide to your child with disability. It should describe your role ‘above and beyond’ parenting a similar-aged child without disability.
It gives you an opportunity to explain:
- The overall impact on YOU as a parent and care
- Your family situation: Do you have other children in the family? Who else helps care for your child? Are you a single parent? Are you caring for anyone else?
- Your own health issues and/or disability, if you choose to share this information.
WHY SHOULD I WRITE ONE?
It’s important that the NDIS understands what your caring role involves so that your child’s plan not only meets their needs, but also supports your ongoing caring role.
Your Carer Statement can be evidence for respite support in your child’s NDIS Plan, that helps you to continue to care.
WHAT INFORMATION SHOULD I INCLUDE?
• All the caring responsibilities and supports you provide for your child 24/7.
• A clear description of how this ongoing care affects you physically, emotionally, socially and financially, including your capacity to find or keep employment.
• The supports your child and family currently receive, and what would happen if they weren’t there.
Ask someone who knows you and your child well to read your Carer Statement to make sure everything you do is included.
HOW CAN I MAKE SURE THE NDIS READS MY CARER STATEMENT?
Keep your statement to one page. Email a copy before your planning meeting and take a copy with you. Ask that your Carer Impact Statement be on top of all evidence documents.
OTHER EVIDENCE OF THE IMPACT OF CARING
You can also keep a detailed diary over a 24-hour period or week, documenting all the care and administrative tasks you do to support your child and how long they take. This should focus on what is above and beyond parental responsibility for a similar-aged child without disability.
This information is reproduced with permission from the Association for Children with a Disability (ACD) who’ve been advocating for children with disability for more than 40 years. Visit acd.org.au