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Exploring Social Class Dynamics in Parental Experiences of Children’s Disability Services

Cummins, Lána (2023) Exploring Social Class Dynamics in Parental Experiences of Children’s Disability Services. In: Prevention and Early Intervention Summit. PEIN, Limerick, Ireland. (Unpublished)

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This research aims to understand how social class shapes parents, particularly mothers, experiences of children’s disability services and early childhood care and education. A literature review of the current research and policy where parents, children’s disability services and early childhood care and education intersects. Deficits of children’s disability services include limited funding and ongoing staff retention issues, ineffective communication, the presence of postcode lottery services and quality concerns. Concurrently, outside of the Access and Inclusion Model (AIM), there are no childcare supports for children with disabilities. This hollow combination creates stressful family circumstances whereby a lack of any child or family-centered services means children’s needs are not met and parents are forced to limit or withdraw their participation in employment. Paradoxically, state policies highlight the importance of parental support for all parents at various stages of their child’s life and more targeted approaches for those with greater levels of need. This conflicting information can be both endorsed and complicated by constitutional recognitions of parents being their child’s first and best teacher (Constitution of Ireland 1937, Article 41.2). Social class dynamics are commonly overlooked in the public, policy and constitutional domains for parents and children with disabilities.

Societies adoption of neoliberal capitalism forces a need for a two-parent working family, but the family-state-market nexus has pushes health, social and education into the community and consequently onto parents, predominantly mothers. This has far-reaching consequences for families, particularly for those in disadvantaged circumstances. With mothers carrying out most of the family caregiving, there is a need to investigate their experiences in the context of children from 0-6 years of age and what this means for policy and service provision.

Improving family-centred approaches to children’s disability service provision. The inability to shift power, bureaucracy, rejection of parent’s contributions, limitations on power and agency, power relations between services and the system where key themes identified through the expression of frustration in interviews with parents. Extending the provision of AIM to all early childhood care and education settings on a full-time basis from 6 months of age to entrance to primary school.

Item Type: Book Section
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HQ The family. Marriage. Woman
H Social Sciences > HT Communities. Classes. Races
H Social Sciences > HQ The family. Marriage. Woman > Children
R Medicine > Diseases > Disabilities
Divisions: Early Learning Initiative Publications
Depositing User: Tamara Malone
Date Deposited: 27 Nov 2023 16:48
Last Modified: 28 Nov 2023 15:25

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