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December 2013Vol. 14, No. 9The Intersection Between Child Welfare and Disability

The fall 2013 issue of CW360°, an online publication of the Center for Advanced Studies in Child Welfare (CASCW) at the University of Minnesota, focuses on the intersection of child welfare and parents with disabilities (to include mental illness; intellectual and developmental disabilities; and physical, sensory, and communication disabilities). Twenty-six articles written by a variety of child welfare professionals and other related stakeholders highlight current research and policy in this area; evidence-informed, promising practices and innovative examples from the field; and recommendations and strategies for system and practice improvement.

The article "Parenting With Disability—What Do We Know?," by Elizabeth Lightfoot, Ph.D., and Traci LaLiberte, Ph.D., describes the disproportionate representation of parents with disabilities and mental illness in child welfare caseloads and why close examination of child welfare and social service systems and practice is needed to better provide services and meet the needs of this population of caregivers.

In "An Overview of Parental Supports for Child Welfare Practice," Lightfoot and LaLiberte highlight the importance of parental support technologies and personal parental supports for parents with disabilities, including, for example, a roll-under crib for a parent who uses a wheelchair, a talking thermometer for a parent who is blind, daycare or respite care, in-home parenting training, and homework assistance for children. The article briefly notes what States are and should be doing in the future to fund and make available supports for parents with disabilities.

CW360°: The Intersection of Child Welfare and Disability: Focus on Parents is available on the CASCW website: (1 MB)

Related Items

Children's Bureau Express featured previous issues of CW360° in the following articles: