Parental Learning Disability and Children's Needs explores how to effectively assess children in families where one or more parent has a learning disability. These children often have unmet needs because their parents are more likely to be coping with mental and physical illness, domestic violence or substance abuse.The book examines current social care practice in this area, whether it is working, and the impact it has on families. The authors describe how, although some parents with a learning disability face a significant risk of losing their children, most continue to look after them and, while support provided by social services and other agencies, can be significant it is rarely sustained and the health and welfare of many children suffers as a result. Case studies and interviews from original research support the authors' recommendations for policy and practice to combat these problems.This book will prove to be an invaluable source of information for all social workers and other professionals working with someone who is both a parent and has a learning disability.
'This book is essential reading for all those who come into contact with parents who have learning disabilities'.- Children & Young People Now'This is an eminently readable book which reports the outcomes of research completed with ten local authorities about the experiences of parents with learning disabilities and their children. If you are working with such a family reading this book should be a requirement. The book is short (only a little over 100 pages when one takes away 'extras' like references, index and tables) and well organized. It is written by recognised experts within the field.'- CAFCASS'Thought provoking and insightful book. A sound evidence based book with relates appropiately and directly to practice and should provide students and practitioners alike an opportunity to re-examine their ethics, values and professional practice when working with families whose parent or parents have a learning disability.'- The High Education Academy Social Policy and Social Work Subject Centre'The book reveals and illuminates some key issues, such as how important it is for practitioners to be aware of how parents with learning difficulties are hampered, not only by their disability but also by numerous "secondary" factors such as poverty, harassment, the instability of family structures and the heavy burden of caring, often for disabled children. As the book points up, these factors may be more of an obstacle than the disability itself, and the authors' research findings confirm that parents with learning difficulties are helped by social work interventions so that parenting improves. Crucially. the book points to the importance of providing ongoing, long-term support for the needs which are udentified when families are assessed rather than opting for short-term interventions which may become part of a cyclical pattern of crisis suffered by so many families in need.'- Community Living'Cleaver and Nicholson (2007) have done an excellent job in identifying the support needs of parents with learning disabilities, and in particular, how their needs impact on outcomes for their children.'- Children in Society 'A sound evidence based book which relates appropriately and directly to practice and should provide students and practitioners alike an apportunity to re-examine their ethics, values and professional practice when working with families whose parent or parents have a learning disability'- SWAP E-bulletin
Hedy Cleaver is an emeritus professor at Royal Holloway, University of London. Her experience as a social worker and child psychologist has informed her research on vulnerable children and families and the impact of professional interventions. She is co-author of Assessing Children's Needs and Circumstances: The Impact of the Assessment Framework, and (with Don Nicholson) Child Protection, Domestic Violence and Parental Substance Misuse, also published by Jessica Kingsley Publishers. Don Nicholson was a senior manager in social services before taking early retirement in 1996. Don was involved in a range of research studies that explored the experiences of vulnerable children and families. His death is a great loss to the research community.
Preface. Acknowledgements. 1. Introduction. 2. Referrals to Children's Social Care. 3. Involving Families in the Assessment Process. 4. The Provision of Services and Outcomes for Children. 5. Conclusions. Appendix I: Definitions, Aims and Methods. Appendix II: Tables. References. Index.
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