From individual problem to family centred practice: the challenges for social workers in supporting parents with learning disabilities

    Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstract

    Abstract

    Social workers are under pressure to support an increasingly diverse range of families, despite having less resources to draw on as a result of austerity measures. One such group of families is those where one or both parents has a learning disability. While we do not have accurate data on the number of families affected, it is estimated that there are currently around 5000 families in Scotland (Stewart and MacIntyre, 2016). These families face significant disadvantage and are likely to be living in poverty, in poor housing and without employment (MacIntyre and Stewart, 2012). They are also far more likely to be subject to child protection measures than other families and around 40% will have their children removed (Emerson, et al 2005). Over the last ten years, evidence has suggested (Stewart and MacIntyre, 2016) that taking a ‘family focused’ approach that acknowledges the needs of both children and parents is the most effective way to support such families. The research argues that taking a ‘whole family’ approach is essential when working with families where there is parental learning disability. Despite this families continue to fall between the gap of children and families and adult social work services. It is argued that conceptualising these families as ‘vulnerable’ directly contributes to their marginalisation. While being labelled as vulnerable is essential to access services given the increasingly stringent eligibility criteria in operation, the label impacts negatively on assumptions about the capacity of parents with learning disabilities to parent. This leaves social workers with a significant ethical dilemmas as they consider how best to support families going forward.

    Conference

    ConferenceEuropean Social Work Research Conference
    CountryUnited Kingdom
    CityEdinburgh
    Period18/04/1820/04/18

    Fingerprint

    learning disability
    social worker
    parents
    child protection
    social work
    housing
    poverty

    Keywords

    • family centred practice
    • social workers
    • learning difficulties
    • child protection
    • poverty

    Cite this

    MacIntyre, G. (2018). From individual problem to family centred practice: the challenges for social workers in supporting parents with learning disabilities . 147-148. Abstract from European Social Work Research Conference, Edinburgh , United Kingdom.
    @conference{f6c5be8f22614164a32b8755fe6624dc,
    title = "From individual problem to family centred practice: the challenges for social workers in supporting parents with learning disabilities",
    abstract = "Social workers are under pressure to support an increasingly diverse range of families, despite having less resources to draw on as a result of austerity measures. One such group of families is those where one or both parents has a learning disability. While we do not have accurate data on the number of families affected, it is estimated that there are currently around 5000 families in Scotland (Stewart and MacIntyre, 2016). These families face significant disadvantage and are likely to be living in poverty, in poor housing and without employment (MacIntyre and Stewart, 2012). They are also far more likely to be subject to child protection measures than other families and around 40{\%} will have their children removed (Emerson, et al 2005). Over the last ten years, evidence has suggested (Stewart and MacIntyre, 2016) that taking a ‘family focused’ approach that acknowledges the needs of both children and parents is the most effective way to support such families. The research argues that taking a ‘whole family’ approach is essential when working with families where there is parental learning disability. Despite this families continue to fall between the gap of children and families and adult social work services. It is argued that conceptualising these families as ‘vulnerable’ directly contributes to their marginalisation. While being labelled as vulnerable is essential to access services given the increasingly stringent eligibility criteria in operation, the label impacts negatively on assumptions about the capacity of parents with learning disabilities to parent. This leaves social workers with a significant ethical dilemmas as they consider how best to support families going forward.",
    keywords = "family centred practice, social workers, learning difficulties, child protection, poverty",
    author = "Gillian MacIntyre",
    year = "2018",
    month = "4",
    day = "18",
    language = "English",
    pages = "147--148",
    note = "European Social Work Research Conference : Social Work in Transition: Challenges for Social Work Research in a Changing Local and Global World ; Conference date: 18-04-2018 Through 20-04-2018",

    }

    MacIntyre, G 2018, 'From individual problem to family centred practice: the challenges for social workers in supporting parents with learning disabilities ' European Social Work Research Conference, Edinburgh , United Kingdom, 18/04/18 - 20/04/18, pp. 147-148.

    From individual problem to family centred practice : the challenges for social workers in supporting parents with learning disabilities . / MacIntyre, Gillian.

    2018. 147-148 Abstract from European Social Work Research Conference, Edinburgh , United Kingdom.

    Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstract

    TY - CONF

    T1 - From individual problem to family centred practice

    T2 - the challenges for social workers in supporting parents with learning disabilities

    AU - MacIntyre, Gillian

    PY - 2018/4/18

    Y1 - 2018/4/18

    N2 - Social workers are under pressure to support an increasingly diverse range of families, despite having less resources to draw on as a result of austerity measures. One such group of families is those where one or both parents has a learning disability. While we do not have accurate data on the number of families affected, it is estimated that there are currently around 5000 families in Scotland (Stewart and MacIntyre, 2016). These families face significant disadvantage and are likely to be living in poverty, in poor housing and without employment (MacIntyre and Stewart, 2012). They are also far more likely to be subject to child protection measures than other families and around 40% will have their children removed (Emerson, et al 2005). Over the last ten years, evidence has suggested (Stewart and MacIntyre, 2016) that taking a ‘family focused’ approach that acknowledges the needs of both children and parents is the most effective way to support such families. The research argues that taking a ‘whole family’ approach is essential when working with families where there is parental learning disability. Despite this families continue to fall between the gap of children and families and adult social work services. It is argued that conceptualising these families as ‘vulnerable’ directly contributes to their marginalisation. While being labelled as vulnerable is essential to access services given the increasingly stringent eligibility criteria in operation, the label impacts negatively on assumptions about the capacity of parents with learning disabilities to parent. This leaves social workers with a significant ethical dilemmas as they consider how best to support families going forward.

    AB - Social workers are under pressure to support an increasingly diverse range of families, despite having less resources to draw on as a result of austerity measures. One such group of families is those where one or both parents has a learning disability. While we do not have accurate data on the number of families affected, it is estimated that there are currently around 5000 families in Scotland (Stewart and MacIntyre, 2016). These families face significant disadvantage and are likely to be living in poverty, in poor housing and without employment (MacIntyre and Stewart, 2012). They are also far more likely to be subject to child protection measures than other families and around 40% will have their children removed (Emerson, et al 2005). Over the last ten years, evidence has suggested (Stewart and MacIntyre, 2016) that taking a ‘family focused’ approach that acknowledges the needs of both children and parents is the most effective way to support such families. The research argues that taking a ‘whole family’ approach is essential when working with families where there is parental learning disability. Despite this families continue to fall between the gap of children and families and adult social work services. It is argued that conceptualising these families as ‘vulnerable’ directly contributes to their marginalisation. While being labelled as vulnerable is essential to access services given the increasingly stringent eligibility criteria in operation, the label impacts negatively on assumptions about the capacity of parents with learning disabilities to parent. This leaves social workers with a significant ethical dilemmas as they consider how best to support families going forward.

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    KW - child protection

    KW - poverty

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    ER -