A great deal of help for parents is available to parents in the form of advice, assistance, and money from many different sources. Therefore parents may have difficulty in knowing where to go and whom to ask. In addition, government departments and the rules by which they work are likely to change from time to time.
There is a lot of help for parents available today in advice, assistance, and money from many different sources. Many parents are unaware of these potential sources. In this blog, we’ll look at some of these resources that can help parents find they don’t have enough money to raise their children.
Sources of Help for Parents
Social Security benefits help for Parents
Government-funded financial help for parents, administered by the Department of Social security.
National Health Service
Health care, administered and funded by the Department of Health.
Advice and assistance, but not money (except in rare cases), administered by local authorities (councils).
Which work independently of the government and local authorities, but often co-operate with them.
Social Security benefits for Families
Child Benefit Help for Parents
This is a tax-free payment per child under 16 to the person with whom the child lives (it does not have to be the parent). The money is usually paid every four weeks, either by cash at the post office or into a bank or building society account.
Single parents can claim an extra tax-free benefit for one child (but not when the parents are living with someone as husband or wife).
This is a tax-free benefit for working families with at least one child under 16. To qualify, one partner or the other must be working at least 24 hours a week, and the amount of money received depends on capital and income. Family Credit can be claimed by people who are self-employed, and by one parent families.
Income Support Help for Parents
This benefit is given to unemployed people and those with part-time jobs (less than 24 hours per week) who do not have enough money for themselves and their families to live on. Help for One-parent families and people who are sick may also come into this category.
This may be available to the person caring for a disabled child over 2 years old who have needed a lot of extra looking after for at least 6 months. A higher rate of payment given for a child who needs care both day and night.
Maternity benefits Help for Parent
Statutory Maternity Pay (SMP)
Pregnant women who have worked for the same employer continuously for 6 Months up to and including the 15th week before the baby is due can claim SMP, even if they are not intending to return to their job after the baby is born. To qualify they must earn enough to pay Class I National Insurance (NI) contributions (National Insurance paid to the government by employees and their employers.)
SMP paid for a maximum of 18 weeks, starting 11 to 6 weeks before the baby is due (depending on when the mother stops working) until a least 7 weeks afterward. There is a standard rate, but an employee who has been with the same employer for 2 years or longer will receive a higher rate (equal to 90% of earnings) for the first 6 weeks, then the standard lower rate for the remaining weeks
SMP paid by the employer, who can recover the cost form the government.
Maternity Allowance Help for Parents
Women who have paid NI contributions but do not qualify for SMP, e.g. those who have recently given up their job, changed jobs or become self-employed, may be entitled to claim Maternity Allowance from their Social Security Office.
If the mother or her partner are receiving Income Support or Family Credit, they may be able to claim a Maternity Payment from the Social Fund to help buy things for the new baby. The Social Fund helps people with exceptional expenses which are difficult to pay for out of regular income.
Other types of benefit for parents
Paid by local authorities to families on low incomes paying rent and rates.
Help with NHS Costs
Free dental treatment and NHS prescriptions are available to women who are pregnant or whose babies are less than a year old. Children under 16 automatically get free NHS dental treatment, prescriptions and eye tests.
Free milk and vitamins Help for Parents
Families on Income Support can claim:
- Tokens for 7 pints of milk per week during pregnancy and until the child is 5 years old
- Free vitamin tables for the pregnant mother
- Free vitamin drops for the child until 5 years old.
National Health Service (NHS)
The NHS is a government-funded organization which aims to help people keep well and to care for them when they are ill, May doctor, dentists and nurses are part of the NHS.
School health service
When children start school, at 5 years or earlier, they will be given a medical examination. Parents are asked to be present when this takes place. A doctor tests eyesight, hearing, and speech. Checks are also made on general health and development – height, weight, posture, and coordination of movements when walking, using the hands, etc.
Any child who is found to have a particular problem that affects health or learning will be checked regularly and, if necessary, referred to a specialist for treatment.
Social Services Help Parents
Every local authority has a social Services department with social workers who help parents in difficulties and advise them on their problems.
Social Services can be of assistance to help parents and children in a number of ways, for example, by providing:
- Day Nurseries
- Home helps
- Fostering services
- Adoption services
- Supervision of children in care
- Children’s homes and hostels
- Hostels for unmarried mother
- Registration and supervision of playgroups
- Registration and supervision of child-minders.
It is also the duty of Social Services to investigate any cases of suspected child abuse.