There are increasing numbers of parents with a learning disability living in the community although the exact numbers are unknown. Existing research suggests that this group of parents faces disadvantage and discrimination on a number of levels. This study reports on the findings of a small pilot study that examined the lived experience of five parents with a learning disability living in Scotland. The research focused particularly on the role of advocacy in supporting parents. The study found that the parents faced a number of challenges not only in relation to their parenting role but also in the circumstances characterising their lives more generally. Parents were likely to be socially isolated and had limited support networks. Support services did not always meet the needs of parents with a learning disability, and joint working between agencies appeared to be particularly problematic. The study concludes by suggesting that advocacy can be effective in supporting parents to have their voices heard.
- learning disabilities
- parents with a learning disability
- social exclusion
- social work
- support systems