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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 204939 Find in a Library
Title: Promoting Effective Working with Parents with Learning Disabilities
Journal: Child Abuse Review  Volume:13  Issue:1  Dated:January-February 2004  Pages:31-41
Author(s): Helen James
Date Published: January 2004
Page Count: 11
Type: Issue Overview
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United Kingdom
Annotation: This article outlines the risks to children who are cared for by parents with learning disabilities and it identifies protective factors against abuse and neglect.
Abstract: Increasingly, children of parents with learning disabilities are coming to the attention of child protection workers. The current framework for service delivery involves a collaborative working relationship with both other supportive agencies and with parents themselves. This type of approach becomes problematic when the parents suffer from learning disabilities, which may impact their parenting capacity. Thus, services and support provided by child protection practitioners should be influenced by an understanding of where the risks to these children reside and an understanding of the factors associated with positive parenting under these conditions. The article outlines the major risks to children who are parented by adults with learning disabilities, including antenatal risk, developmental delay, behavior problems, language delay, and abuse and neglect. Protective factors are also identified and include an existing support network for the parents, small family size, and proper parental emotional development. Children of parents with learning disabilities have been shown to be at an increased risk for behavioral problems and language delays, as well as for global developmental delays stemming from genetics and the parents’ inability to access antenatal care. Children of normal intelligence, as well as highly dependant children, are more at risk in these families than other types of children. Risks to children are reduced when parents are able to access antenatal care and are surrounded by strong support informal and formal networks. Other protective factors include a small family size and the experience of a positive childhood by the parent. Families with learning disabilities will benefit the most when child protection agencies work in cooperation with agencies supporting adults with developmental delays. References
Main Term(s): Child abuse; Learning disabilities
Index Term(s): Children at risk; Family support; Parent education
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