Jon Symonds Completed 2018
With the right support, parents with learning disabilities can bring up their children in a caring and loving environment, but how this support is best provided is debated. Good practice guidelines recommend that adults’ and children’s services are joined up to support parents with learning disabilities, and Think Family guidance recommends that adults’ as well as children’s services should work with family members to improve outcomes for children. The Care Act 2014 recently introduced an eligibility outcome for adults in relation to their caring responsibilities for a child. However, most of what is known in this field focuses on and reflects the experiences of mothers.
The aims of this study were to:
Eight fathers were interviewed for the study, recruited through social media, advocacy organisations and the network. The ages of the fathers ranged from 26 to 60 years. They had 18 children between them and three of them had become grandfathers.
Nine practitioners were also interviewed from three different adult learning disability services. They worked in different parts of the country from the fathers to avoid them recognising each other in the findings.
The study took place between October 2015 and November 2016.
The research team worked with four fathers with learning disabilities from the Elfrida Society who acted as consultants to the study, giving advice on the easy read versions of materials and the topic guide.