SCIE Knowledge review 11: Supporting disabled parents and parents with additional support needs

By Jenny Morris and Michele Wates

Published: November 2006

This knowledge review is about parents with physical and/or sensory impairments, learning difficulties, mental health problems, long-term illnesses such as HIV/AIDS, and drug or alcohol problems. Its main focus is on social care, but integral to this are the relationships between social care and health, housing and education.

Key messages

Context

About 12 per cent of Britain's 14.1 million parents are disabled and 1.1 million households with dependent children have at least one disabled parent. As well as this, there are a large number of parents who have additional support needs.

There are clear entitlements within the legislative framework for adult social care to support disabled parents. However, parenting roles are not treated as a central issue within the adult social care policy framework. Men's parenting roles and responsibilities are particularly unrecognised. Within the Every child matters policy and legislative framework there is very little recognition of the entitlements that parents have under adult social care legislation for support in their parenting role. And while the children's and adults' policy and legislative frameworks place great emphasis on inter-agency cooperation, there is only limited recognition of the need for children's and adults' services to work together.

Purpose

This knowledge review is predominantly concerned with how policies and practice address the needs of disabled parents and parents with additional support needs. It will be used to produce practice guidance for practitioners working with disabled parents and parents with additional support needs.

Audience

The review will be of interest to policy makers and to practitioners working with disabled parents and parents with additional support needs.

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