Research Abstracts: Children of disabled parents

Title: Changing weights and measures: disability and child poverty
Author: Burchardt, Tania
Reference: Poverty, Issue 123, Winter 2006, pp6-9

There has been a fall in child poverty from its peak of one in three children in 1998/9. The author looks at how children of disabled parents and disabled children themselves have fared relative to children not affected by disability.

Title: Temporal discrimination and parents with learning difficulties in the child protection system
Author: Booth, Tim;  Booth, Wendy; McConnell, David
Reference: British Journal of Social Work, 36(6), September 2006, pp.997-1015

This article shows how time works against parents with learning difficulties in the child protection system and Children Act proceedings. The prevailing wisdom, embedded in policy and the literature, is that delay in care cases is bad for the child and may jeopardise his or her future. This paper shows how the pressure to avoid delay might itself be harming some families, especially parents with learning difficulties. Drawing on interviews with social work practitioners undertaken as part of a larger study, the authors describe the various forms of temporal discrimination that impact on this group of disabled parents. They conclude that procedural time limits make it harder for parents with learning difficulties to meet the standards and expectations enforced by children’s services and the courts.

Title: Mind the gap: a case study for changing organisational responses to disabled parents and their families using evidence based practice
Author: Crawshaw, Marilyn; Wates, Michele
Reference: Research Policy and Planning, 23(2), 2005, pp.111-122

This case study describes work carried out by Making Research Count (University of York) project with social services and health agencies to help them develop services for disabled parents. The structure combined the presentation of relevant research findings over one day with follow up consultation and an additional day’s structured input after eight weeks to develop goal-focused implementation strategies. Adult learning theory, systematic organisational theory and practice around management of change and the system for Analysing Verbal Interaction were used. The evaluation suggested that it achieved some success in facilitating research informed implementation strategies. A typology for measuring change is suggested.

Title: Caring before their time? Research and policy perspectives on young carers
Author: Halpenny, Ann Marie; Gilligan, Robbie
Publisher: Dublin: Barnardo’s, 2004. 56p

Children as young as five help take on the role as carers for their ill or disabled parents and relatives. They could be providing up to two hours a day of unpaid care work in addition to attending school and homework. This can have huge implications for further study and possibility to continue in education and finding work. The care work can include everything from household tasks, to personal, social and emotional care for parents or close relatives. The age, gender and income and support services available to families all impact on whether children take on the role of unpaid carers in the family.

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