Upholding the independence of disabled parents: Re-imagining Children’s Services in co-production with disabled parents and professionals

The large research project is about working in co-production with disabled parents to develop solutions that aim to keep families together through independent living. The project partners are individual disabled parents and co-researchers working in partnership with the University of Bedfordshire.

Disabled parents approached the University of Bedfordshire for help and support with children’s services issues. This led to the university to co-establish a Tilda Goldberg Centre disabled parents’ network, facilitated by a disabled academic. Together this network have co-designed this research project to answer questions that are important to disabled parents.

The Upholding the independent of disabled parents project will challenge previous studies that have tended to: assume a correlation between parental impairment and a negative impact on children’s well-being; see impairments as the only and most relevant variable of interest; that make recommendations which have focused on direct interventions involving children.

By re-imagining children’s service the project will:

  • problematise the assumption that having the an impairment necessarily impacts on the ability to care for child
  • use the Social Model of Disability to move from talking about impairments and onto disabling barriers
  • develop solutions that keeps families together