Caregivers are an intrinsic component of the environment of children with intellectual
disabilities. However, caregivers’ capacity to support children’s participation may be linked to the
social support that they, as caregivers, receive. Social support may increase participation, educational,
psychological, medical and financial opportunities. However, there is a lack of information on social
support in middle-income countries. The current study described and compared the social support of
caregivers of children with intellectual disabilities by using the Family Support Survey (FSS) in India
and South Africa. The different types of social support were subsequently considered in relation to
participation, using the Children’s Assessment of Participation and Enjoyment (CAPE). One hundred
caregiver–child dyads from India and 123 from South Africa participated in this study. The data were
analysed using non-parametric measures. Indian caregivers reported greater availability of more
helpful support than did the South African caregivers. Social support was associated with children’s
participation diversity (India) and intensity (South Africa). The child-/caregiver-reported participation
data showed different associations with participation. Results from this study suggest that perceived
social support of caregivers differs between countries and is associated with their child’s participation.
These factors need to be considered when generalising results from different countries.