Single parent, two children, work, partner in hospital - what can I do?

Hi! I am a parent of two boys, 2 years old Michael and 11 months old Samuel.
I have been working in a factory, full time for the last 10 years.
A few months ago my partner(mother to mentioned boys) was send to the hospital. She suffers BPD(Borderline Personality Disorder) very severely. She has always suffered it, but she was on medicine her whole life and it was barely noticeable. After giving birth to Sam, she was severely triggered and remains in the hospital. A lot of times, she can barely recognize people, the doctors recently said with confidence, that she will stay in the hospital for very long time. She is obviously unable to work and unable to take care of children. Sam is currently with her in the hospital, so I only have Michael to take care of.
For the past few months I have been asking members of the family to take care of Mike when I am at work, but we are getting to the point, where all my family and friends used up all of their holidays to help out. To make matters worse, the hospital said they can only take care of Sam until he is 1 year old, which will be next month.
The situation is getting out of control. I work full time, so I cannot take care of them. Childcare is so expensive, that it will consume my entire salary just for the childcare, not mentioning rent, bills and food. My salary oscillates around £1400-1500 after tax.
I applied for the Universal Tax Credit, and I receive around £600 per month, which is okay for now. But when family cannot help anymore and hospital releases Sam, it will not be sufficient. Cheapest childcare nearby is around £800 per child, so It will consume 1600 for both kids, I will be left with £400, and I can’t even pay my rent, which is around £800.

I am not type, who likes to sit on his hands receiving benefits, so I am willing to continue to work, however it will be impossible for me to do soon, due to the circumstances - either work of take care of kids.

Do you have any advices for me? Where should I ask for help? Who should I ask for? Is it even possible to have some form of financial help, that would fix my situation?

Thanks in advance!



Welcome to the forums OP. If you are not getting single parent benefits you should literally right this minute apply in order to get financial help. Citizens Advice Bureau can help you with the difficult but doable claim application form and process. Good luck too to you. Take a close look at the handy details on their website regarding benefits. Or send them a politely worded inquiry email in addition to find out some more. Once you have that money it should help you to remain independent and fund a form of cheap childcare for the little children as well. Start the ball rolling this afternoon pronto.

This is the link. Keep us posted. You are in my prayers.

Thanks for all the info!
So am I considered single parent, even though I have a partner(in hospital, but I do) ?

Usually no but your situation is not the norm. You could try telling them (Citizens Advice Bureau) of your family situation and see what they can do in order to help. Good luck.

See what happens, normally something might happen which is reasonable. Just watch yourself if social services get involved as they might make the situation worst than better if they try to help. There might be something to think about and that having the kids in a temporary foster home until the family can help you out more or another plan is thought of. You are not giving them up to be adopted but somewhere safe until things change. Just keep that in the back of your mind in case you need to. Take care

Hi, what a stressful situation for all of you.

I suggest you contact the Carers UK helpline

Our telephone Carers UK Helpline service is available Monday to Friday, 9am-6pm on 0808 808 7777 (including bank holidays, with the exception of Easter Monday). Alternatively, you can contact our Helpline service by emailing at any time

or Citizens Advice - see Thara’s link for advice. There may be other benefits you are entitled to as a working parent.

Also, it’s worth contacting social services - they may be able to offer support with childcare. Alternatively, is there a social worker based where your wife is hospitalised, who could signpost you to other support?

Chiming in again.

Contact social services they can tell you more about home care agencies. Based on your wife’s needs hiring a live in carer may be a good option here. Take a look at care companies that offer this option online then ring or email to find out more and to apply as well. Good luck.

Hello rkuser. Thanks for posting in Carers Connect. I’m sorry to hear that you’re having such a tough time at the moment.

As Melly1 says above, I would really encourage you to contact Carers UK’s helpline by emailing . You could just copy the post you’ve made above into an email and request a benefits check at the beginning. One of our helpline advisers will then respond to you to let you know what benefits you may be entitled to (this is usually within a five working days).

Wishing you and your family well


Any update OP, thank you. I hope you are well.

Hi. I was busy at work throughout the week, they wouldn’t let me leave. Tomorrow(friday) I am able to go, so I am going to citizen advice tomorrow.

Talk to ACAS as soon as possible, about Constructive Dissmissal.

Work could be accused of trying to get rid of you, if this is their goal then maybe ask them to look at legislation concerning supporting carers at work, that you, as a carer, have the same rights as if it was you that was disabled, they must make “reasonable adjustments” for you.

If not, you can take them to a tribunal and maybe get a hefty payout!

1 Like

Hi everyone. I wanted to update you with the situation.
The hospital where my partner is has filled out everything required for the PIP, so it’s done, and we are waiting for the response. They said it will take up to 3 months, so we will see about that.
I’ve spoken to citizen advice and my local city advice services.
They both told me there is nothing I can do. Only Universal Tax Credit and that PIP that she may or may not get. If I am forced to stay at home with children, they said I am not entitles to any additional help, just whatever the UTC provides, which likely will not be enough to pay for everything.


Thara, live in carers cost around £1,000 a week!!!

Michael, you need to talk to Social Services, explain that your wife has severe post natal depression, I think from memory the formal term is puerperal psychosis. My sister in law was very ill after the birth of her second child, who I looked after for many months. The good news is that gradually SIL improved, but sadly the marriage didn’t survive - it was a very complicated situation. I know that the children’s social workers do everything possible to keep a child in the family. I would urge you to contact them, and see what support they can offer you and your family.

1 Like

rkuser, I agree with BB, in our area social services have a list of registered childminders and foster carers who provide day care funded by social care for families experiencing difficulties such as yours.


Good luck. As hard as it is you need to start preparing for her eventual discharge date now. You are in my prayers. Make a phone call or send a email to your local Childrens Social Services team to see if they can help. Explain everything to them. Don’t hold back. The worst that can happen is that they are unable to assist you and your family.

Also begin looking at other cheaper forms of childcare and benefits too. Thanks for the update by the way. You can do this. I also recommend making some brief summary notes. Keep a extra copy of all the medical paperwork in any case. It is always a good idea. Seriously.