Our helpline

Contacting our helpline

How our helpline can help you

We understand that life with a disabled child often brings unique challenges. Our helpline advisers can help you feel more confident and informed about tackling them.

We can give you advice, information and support about any concern or question you might have, including:

Getting a diagnosis and medical information

We can help you get a diagnosis for your child. We also have reliable and trusted information on hundreds of conditions, including rare conditions. If you want, we'll put you in touch with national  and local condition support groups and introduce you to our online community, where you can chat with families across the UK affected by the same condition.

Services your family might be entitled to

We'll help you to understand how to ask the local authority for practical help and support for your family.

Benefits and sources of financial help

Find out what benefits you might be entitled to  and other potential sources of financial help.

Support in the early years

We can tell you more about your rights to childcare and how to find childcare places in your area.

Special educational needs

If you think your child might have special educational needs (SEN) and needs extra help in the classroom, we can help you understand more about how special educational needs are identified and assessed, who is responsible for providing help for your child at school or college and how to access support for them there.

We have access to interpreters in case you have limited English.

Getting prepared for your helpline call

Demand for our helpline is high, so you may have to wait to speak to a parent adviser.

The busiest times of the day tend to be between 10am and 11.30am and at lunchtime between 1pm and 2pm. Calling in the afternoon can help.

We suggest you do the following to prepare for your call:

  • Try to organise a quiet place where you can talk if you can.
  • Have a pen and paper to hand and any documents you wish to discuss.
  • Your call may take up to 20 minutes, so please set aside some time.
  • Remember that your call is confidential - see our confidentiality procedure further down this page.

Contacting us through Facebook, Twitter and email

If you're contacting us through Facebook, Twitter or email, where possible please provide information such as the age of your child and the area you live in. This will help us find other sources of support.

If your enquiry is particularly urgent, we recommend that you call our helpline.

How we improve our helpline

Twice a year we conduct a survey on our helpline and online services, including our website and social media pages.

In our survey of March 2018:

  • 100% of helpline users said they were satisfied or very satisfied with the service.
  • 99% of website users said they were satisfied or very satisfied with the service.

Find out how to make a compliment or complaint about any of our services.

Confidentiality and data protection

Our helpline is confidential. This means we will not share your personal details with anyone outside of Contact without your permission.

There are a few exceptional situations where we may have to breach confidentiality and pass on your details without your consent.

Situations where we might need to break confidentiality:

  • A child is at risk of harm.
  • A vulnerable adult is at risk of harm.
  • A terrorist threat has been made.
  • We have been ordered to share information with the courts.
  • A person poses a serious risk to others.
  • A person is threatening or abusing staff or preventing the helpline service from being delivered to others.

If a decision is made to break confidentiality, we will make reasonable effort to keep your informed of what we intend to do.

How our helpline is accredited

Helplines Partnership

We are a member of the Helplines Partnership, and our helpline is accredited to their quality standard. Visit the Helplines Partnership website to find out more.

Related information