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How to support families of children with disabilities? An exploratory study of social support services

Support services to families of children with disabilities have previously been documented. While the effectiveness and consequences of some support strategies have been defined, their comparison remains problematic primarily because of the diversified existing definitions. The present study aimed to elaborate and validate a typology to describe different types of support that can be offered to families of children with disabilities. A review of literature highlighted a variety of support services and allowed a categorical grouping. Content analysis ensured that each category was defined distinctively. Afterwards, a panel of experts and representatives of organizations from seven developed countries (Australia, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, France, Sweden and Switzerland) validated the typology. A database of services offered in these countries was created. The resulting typology was divided into four categories related to the family needs: support, respite, child minding and emergency support. Each type of support can be illustrated within organizations in the database. As such, social workers can use the defined typology to identify the needs of families of children with disabilities and suggest alternatives when services are not available. Overall, the described typology should facilitate discussion between stakeholders and families by providing a common communication system.

Auteur-e-s
Beaupré Pauline
Blais-Michaud Sophie
Boucher Normand
Carrière Monique
Gascon Hubert
Marier Deschênes Pascale
Tétreault Sylvie
Références

Tétreault, S., Blais-Michaud, S., Marier Deschênes, P., Beaupré, P., Gascon, H., Boucher, N., & Carrière, M. (2014). How to support families of children with disabilities? An exploratory study of social support services. Child & Family Social Work, 19(3), 272–281.

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