Children First: Disabled Children and Their Families
Research into Practice
Audio series, £10 from CD is from www.rip.org.uk
STAR RATING: 4/5
This CD evaluates the state of services for disabled children and their families, writes Dawn B Judd.
It effectively challenges the myth of disabled children as a homogeneous group. Indeed Roy Parker’s comments about the
importance of acknowledging the role of social class, family structure and need, rather than crude medically-driven assessments based on notions of severity of impairment, are particularly pertinent.
The CD provides a helpful resource for students and practitioners to support their understanding of the needs of disabled children and their families, and it draws much-needed attention to the difficulties and challenges faced by ethnic minority families.
It is doubtful, however, that it will tell policy-makers and families anything they don’t already know. Drawing on the contributions of “experts”, the challenges to service providers are outlined. Some attempts are made to describe
good practice. The emphasis is on finding the right support rather than the right professional – nothing new there but a message that still needs to be heard and acted upon.
The use of audio media has the potential to make the CD more accessible, but in places the use of jargon and abstract language somewhat undermines this objective. In places more could have been made of the voice of the child.
Overall, the message remains that progress in this area is too slow and much-needed support continues to elude some of the most vulnerable children and their families – despite clear evidence of need.
Dawn B Judd is senior lecturer in social work, University of Central Lancashire