Children with disabilities/special needs

The latest material added to the Australian Institute of Family Studies library database is displayed, up to a maximum of 30 items. Where available online, a link to the document is provided. Many items can be borrowed from the Institute's library via the Interlibrary loan system.

See more resources on Children with disabilities/special needs in the AIFS library catalogue

Overshadowed: the mental health needs of children and young people with learning disabilities

Burke C, Hastings R and Lavis P
London, U.K. : Children and Young People's Mental Health Coalition, 2019.
This report was commissioned to better understand the mental health needs of young people with learning disabilities in the United Kingdom, including the number of young people with both learning disabilities and mental health problems, the facilitators and barriers to them and their families in accessing support, and current policy, guidance and practice. The study involved a review of the evidence base, consultations with professionals, and focus groups with young people aged 11-25 and their parents about their experiences of mental health problems and the support they receive. Based on this information, the report presents ten recommendations aimed at national and local agencies.

Progress report

Andrews K
Canberra : Parliament House, 2019.
The new National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) is being progressively rolled out across Australia. The Parliamentary Joint Standing Committee on the National Disability Insurance Scheme was established to review the implementation, performance and governance of the NDIS, as well as its administration and expenditure. This is the Committee's second progress report and covers the period from 1 July 2017 to 31 December 2018. The Committee held national consultations to help inform its review, identifying issues regarding eligibility of people with psychosocial disabilities, access and delivery of the NDIS Early Childhood Early Intervention Approach, transitional arrangements, and hearing services. The report presents a discussion of the issues and recommendations for improvement.

Robots and the delivery of care services: what is the role for government in stewarding disruptive innovation?

Dickinson H, Smith C, Carey N and Carey G
Melbourne : ANZSOG, 2018.
The development of robotics has begun to offer a potential solution to the demand and supply-side pressures facing the care sector. Although there is growing amount of research into the issue of robots in social and care settings, the majority of this literature focuses on legal, technical, and consumer matters. This report looks into the neglected public policy and public management issues. It explores the roles that robots should - and should not - play in care delivery, and the role that government has as a steward in shaping these roles, drawing on interviews with 35 stakeholders from government, academia, and technology.

Evaluation of Plumtree Children's Services' 'Now and Next' program

Moore T, Fong M and Rushton S
Parkville, Vic. : Centre for Community Child Heath, 2018.
The 'Now and Next' program aims to build capacity in families with young children with a disability or developmental delay in New South Wales. It was developed by Plumtree Children's Services Inc. to help families cultivate skills to achieve positive outcomes, establish goals for themselves, and connect with other families to provide mutual support and motivation. This evaluation was commissioned to assess the implementation and impacts of the program. The process evaluation component looked at whether the program had been delivered as intended, if it was reaching the target groups, and how participants rated the program. The outcome evaluation looked at participant outcomes, in particular achievement of short-term goals, empowerment, and sense of hope and wellbeing. Data was collected at the beginning, middle, and end of the program, from program facilitators and the 154 families participating in the program. This report presents the findings of the evaluation, and makes recommendations for development.

Supporting the mental health of mothers of children with a disability : health professional perceptions of need, role, and challenges.

Gilson K, Johnson S, Davis E, Brunton S, Swift E, Reddihough D and Williams K
Child : Care, Health and Development v. 44 no. 5 Sep 2018: 721-729
This article explores how health professionals view their role in supporting the mental health of mothers of children with a disability. Interviews were conducted with 13 allied health professionals, general practitioners, and paediatricians about their perceived role and responsibility to provide support, what strategies they employed, and the challenges they faced. The implications for training and policy are discussed. This study follows on by another by the authors on the high rates of mental concerns among mothers of children with a disability, and the types of support they needed.

Mental health care needs and preferences for mothers of children with a disability.

Gilson K, Davis E, Johnson S, Gains J, Reddihough D and Williams K
Child : Care, Health and Development v. 44 no. 3 May 2018: 384-391
This article adds to the evidence on the mental health of mothers of children with a disability and how they can be better supported. It presents the findings of a survey with 294 mothers regarding background characteristics, anxiety, depression, psychological distress, suicidality, help seeking, barriers to accessing support, when support is most needed, and preferences for different types of support services. The findings reveal high rates of distress, depression, anxiety, and suicidality, and a high need for support - which many were not accessing.

Implementation of the NDIS in the early childhood intervention sector in NSW: final report

Purcal C, Hill T, Meltzer A, Boden N and Fisher K
Sydney : Social Policy Research Centre, UNSW Sydney, 2018.
The transition to the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) is underway in Australia, and will enable - and require - families to make choices about which services best meet their children's needs. This study was commissioned by Early Childhood Intervention Australia (ECIA) NSW/ACT to investigate the experiences of families of children aged 0-8 years with developmental delay or disability, and of service providers, in the transition to the NDIS in New South Wales. This report presents the findings of the study and discusses the implications for good practice. The study found a wide range of experiences among both families and service providers regarding preparations for the NDIS and their first experiences while in the Scheme. It found many families - especially disadvantaged families - continued to experience delays and communication issues, and though service providers had advanced in their adaptation to NDIS processes, systemic issues remained.

Mapping project: support for siblings of children and adults with disability : final report

Siblings Australia Inc.
Adelaide, S. Aust. : Siblings Australia, 2018
This mapping project investigated the state of supports and services for siblings of people with a disability in Australia. Drawing on surveys with service providers, parents, and adult siblings, it provides a snapshot of support usage, needs, and gaps, and will inform the updating of online directories, the national consultation group, and Information Linkages and Capacity Building within the National Disability Insurance Scheme. This report also provides information from the surveys on the characteristics of siblings, the challenges of being a sibling, and impacts.

Progress report

Andrews K
Canberra : Parliament House, 2017.
The new National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) is being progressively rolled out across Australia. The Parliamentary Joint Standing Committee on the National Disability Insurance Scheme was established to review the implementation, performance and governance of the NDIS, as well as its administration and expenditure. This is the Committee's second progress report and covers the period from 1 July 2017 to 31 December 2018. The Committee held national consultations to help inform its review, identifying issues regarding planning processes, transparency and responsiveness, funding, non-contextual pricing for services, portal issues, transport market design, and the early childhood intervention pathway. The report presents a discussion of the issues and recommendations for improvement.

Provision of services under the NDIS Early Childhood Early Intervention Approach

Andrews K
Canberra : Joint Standing Committee on the National Disability Insurance Scheme, 2017.
The Early Childhood Early Intervention (ECEI) Approach aims to determine and facilitate the most appropriate support pathway for preschool children with a disability or developmental delay, as part of the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS). As part of the evaluation of the NDIS, this inquiry examines the provision of services under the ECEI, including eligibility criteria, service needs of clients, adequacy of funding, associated costs such as for diagnosis, effectiveness, delays and timeframes, information provision to potential clients, accessibility particularly in rural and remote areas, and the principle of choice. This report presents the findings and recommendations of the inquiry.

Implementation of the NDIS in the early childhood intervention sector in NSW. Report 1, Findings from data collection Round 1

Purcal C, Meltzer A, Hill T and Fisher K
Sydney, NSW : Social Policy Research Centre, UNSW Sydney, 2017.
The transition to the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) is underway in Australia, and will enable - and require - families to make choices about which services best meet their children's needs. This study was commissioned by Early Childhood Intervention Australia (ECIA) NSW/ACT to investigate the experiences of families of children aged 0-8 years with developmental delay or disability, and of service providers, in the transition to the NDIS in New South Wales. As a first stage of the study, this report provides an analysis of the findings from the first round of data collection, with 10 family members and 14 service providers, and discusses the implications for the ongoing rollout of the NDIS. This initial data shows that the transition experiences of both families and service providers were widely variable, though families who were vulnerable in any way - be it socially, culturally or financially - were at higher risk of experiencing funding and service gaps, delays, frustration, and distress.

Engaging with disability services : experiences of families from Chinese backgrounds in Sydney.

Liu Y and Fisher K
Australian Social Work v. 70 no. 4 2017: 441-452
This article explores the experiences of Chinese families in using child disability support services. In particular, it investigates how migration and cultural expectations about disability and service affect the way services are used. Interviews were conducted with 13 families in Sydney, New South Wales.

National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) costs: study report

Australia. Productivity Commission
Canberra : Productivity Commission, 2017.
The National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) is a new scheme designed to change the way that support and care are provided to people with permanent and significant disability, and is currently being rolled-out across Australia. If implemented well, it will substantially improve the wellbeing of people with disability, provide better service options, and create efficiency gains and cost savings. As part of scheme's development, it was decided that the Productivity Commission would review NDIS costs in 2017 to inform the final design of the full scheme prior to its commencement. This report presents the Commission's findings and conclusions. It looks at the sustainability of scheme costs, current and future cost pressures, capacity across jurisdictions, how the NDIS impacts on and interacts with mainstream services, whether efficiencies have been achieved, and funding and governance arrangements. Based on trial and transition data, the study finds that NDIS costs are broadly on track with long term modelling, though this is in large part because not all committed supports are used. While some cost pressures are emerging - such as higher numbers of children entering the scheme - there are initiatives in place to address them. Early evidence also suggests that many NDIS participants are receiving more disability supports than previously, with more choice and control.

Children with disability : inclusive practice and child-safe organisations.

Llewellyn G
12 October 2017
This webinar will focus on developing practical strategies to create safe and inclusive environments for children with disability. Recent research indicates that children with disability are at a much higher risk of maltreatment than their non-disabled peers. The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse recently reviewed the evidence to consider the various factors that contribute to the heightened risk of abuse for children with disability, including their over-representation in institutional care settings and greater interaction with unfamiliar adults. It also highlighted the problems with viewing disability as a stand-alone risk factor for maltreatment, rather than focusing on the particular social contexts that contribute to children's vulnerability. This webinar will outline current understandings of disability and present recent research findings on the prevalence, risk and prevention of abuse for children with disability. Practical strategies for inclusive practice will be discussed, with a focus on creating child-safe organisations.

Service and support needs of specific population groups that have experienced child sexual abuse

Breckenridge J and Flax G
Sydney : Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, 2016.
This report investigates whether different groups of child sexual abuse survivors have distinctive service and support needs, to help the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse with its work. A literature review was undertaken, focusing on three population groups: people abused in an institutional context, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, and people with disabilities. The first group is of primary interest to the Royal Commission, while the latter two groups have been included because of their increased vulnerability to child sexual abuse compared with the general population, their long history of institutionalisation carried out as accepted government policy, and their continued over-representation in various forms of institutional care.

Predictors of outcome for parents of children with a disability completing a parenting programme.

Hyland E
2016.
Children with a developmental or other disability have been found to be two to three times more likely to develop emotional and behavioural problems compared to their typically developing peers. Parents of children with a disability have been shown to be at an increased risk of decline in mental health and socioeconomic difficulties. The Stepping Stones Triple P (SSTP) programme is based on the Triple P Positive Parenting Programme and was specifically designed for parents of a child with a disability. The current study includes 229 participants from the wider SSTP project that was conducted throughout Australia. It assessed outcomes in the seminar and group versions of the programme and investigated predictors of outcome in SSTP. Results revealed that the combined seminar and group participants indicated a significant decrease in problematic parenting practices, increase in parenting efficacy, and decrease in child emotional and behavioural problems. In conservative statistical analysis there was no significant difference between the less intensive seminar and more intensive group outcomes. Analysis of factors that were predictive of outcome found that parents who completed high school displayed more improvements in problematic parenting practices at post intervention than those parents that did not complete high school. Furthermore a yearly family income of above $80,000 was associated with less improvement in problematic parenting practices post intervention compared to families with an income under $80,000. Five case studies are presented to demonstrate a range of outcomes for the seminar and group interventions and to further explore perceived barriers to improvement. A qualitative analysis of parents' satisfaction is included, which demonstrates parents were mostly satisfied with the programme and behaviour changes. Implications for clinical practice and future research are discussed along with strengths and limitations of the current study.

Taking time: framework : a trauma-informed framework for supporting people with intellectual disability

Jackson A and Waters S
Sydney, N.S.W. : Family & Community Services, 2015.
The 'Taking Time Trauma-Informed Framework' has been developed to assist service providers who support people with intellectual disability in New South Wales, and provides trauma-informed guidance for organisations to meet their obligations in accordance with the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities 2008 and the NSW Disability Inclusion Act 2014. This document sets out the vision and aims of the framework, as well as its principles and values, and provides suggestions for implementation at service and systems levels.

Participation of Indigenous children with disabilities in remote communities.

O'Kearney E, Johnston H, Greenstein C, Pilikington C and Pidgeon F
People, places, possibilities : proceedings of the 13th National Rural Health Conference : 24-27 May 2015, Darwin Convention Centre, NT. Deakin, ACT : National Rural Health Alliance, 2015: 5p
This presentation reports on a literature review on the participation of Australian Aboriginal children with disabilities from remote communities, including in the home, school, and the wider community, and the barriers to participation, such as lack of transport, infrastructure, or assistive technology. The findings have implications for providing culturally appropriate, client-centred allied health services.

Out of home care

Siewert R
Canberra, ACT : Senate Community Affairs Committee Secretariat, 2015.
Though the evidence suggests that children and young people in out-of-home care experience poor outcomes across a range of indicators, the number of children and young people in statutory out-of-home care has more than doubled in Australia over the last 15 years. This inquiry was called to examine the state of out-of-home care in Australia and how outcomes can be improved. Areas of investigation include: the drivers of this increase in out-of-home care, types and models of care, the outcomes of care (including kinship care, foster care and residential care) versus staying in the home, the cost of Australia's current approach to care and protection, consistency between states and territories, available supports, contact with family of origin, the over-representation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children, and Australian and international best practice. This report presents the findings and recommendations of the inquiry.

Co-design and Family Agency Capacity Research Project: final report

Thompson A, Blaxland M, Valentine K and Sawrikar P
Sydney : Social Policy Research Centre, UNSW Australia, 2015.
This report describes the methodology and outcomes of the 'Stronger Together 2 Mid North Coast Research and Family Agency Capacity Project'. This collaborative project between the Mid Coast Communities and the Social Policy Research Centre aimed to involve families with young children with disability, living in the mid north coast of New South Wales, in the co-design of services - increasing the families' sense of agency and readiness for the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS). The project consisted of a short literature review, research with families regarding their capacity to make choices and shape their lives, the development of a framework to support families to co-design services, and the eventual involvement of families in co-designing and co-producing formal and informal supports.

Caring for the carer: home design and modification for carers of young people with disability

Davy L, Adams T and Bridge C
Sydney : Home Modification Information Clearinghouse, UNSW Australia, 2014.
Carers need supportive and safe environments in which to care for people with disability. This paper reviews the literature on the physical design needs of unpaid carers of young and middle-aged people with disability, and what design features could help them provide care in the home in more comfortable and sustainable ways. The research was confined to the carers of people aged under 65 years as these carers are likely to be providing care in their own home and therefore in a position to make decisions about which modifications will be done and how they will be funded. Topics include: what tensions may exist between a carer's needs and the needs of the person with disability in home design, assessing the home environment, carer stress and strain, home modifications and carers, home design considerations for carers, home safety and carer needs, space in the home, assisting care activities, whole of household approaches, and what assessment criteria should professionals consider when assessing for home modifications or adaptations which will support a whole-of-household approach to assessment and incorporate the needs and preferences of all members of a household, including carers. The paper concludes with a Home Modifications Checklist for Carers of Young People with Disability.

The health of children and young people in NSW: report of the Chief Health Officer 2014.

New South Wales. Office of the Chief Health Officer, Centre for Epidemiology and Evidence (N.S.W.)
North Sydney, NSW : Centre for Epidemiology and Evidence, NSW Ministry of Health, 2014.
This report provides information on the health of children and young people in New South Wales, including key health issues, risk and protective factors, demographic characteristics and living arrangements, and service utilisation. Topics include births, infant health, health screening, immunisation, overweight and obesity, diet, active living, oral health, smoking, alcohol consumption, substance misuse, environmental exposures, causes of hospitalisation, deaths, asthma, diabetes, cancer, communicable diseases, injuries, disability, and mental health. This report is a special edition of the series 'The health of people in NSW', which has been produced by the Chief Health Officer since 1996.

Children with disabilities using child and family welfare services: research report

Mitchell G
South Melbourne, Vic. : OzChild, 2014.
OzChild has conducted this research study to learn more about the nature and extent of disability in children using its family welfare services. Ozchild provides Home Based Care, Kinship Care, Family Services, Disability Services, and a range of educational services and services to schools and students in the southern metropolitan, Gippsland, and Barwon South Western Regions of Victoria. Six of these services were surveyed as part of this research study, regarding the number and proportion of children with disabilities, single and multiple diagnoses, type and seriousness of disabilities, origins of and pathways into disability, educational achievement, participation and inclusion, children in out-of-home care, different funding arrangements for different types of carers, service gaps and difficulties, effects of disability on placement stability, and how service barriers and challenges are being addressed. The findings highlight issues for practice, program design and policy, and this report concludes with some recommendations.

Social Action Partners: peer support for children and young people with intellectual disability and their families in Victoria : project plan

Purcal C, Fisher K, Bevan N, Meltzer A and Robinson S
Sydney : Social Policy Research Centre, UNSW, 2014.
This paper describes the background, rationale, and proposed methodology for a new project to build capacity and agency among consumers in the transition to the self-directed nature of the new National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS). The project will establish local peer support groups of children and young people with intellectual disability and their families in Victoria, who will conduct action research about their experiences with self-directed disability support.

Parliamentary Inquiry into childcare for disabled children: levelling the playing field for families with disabled children and young people

Great Britain. Inquiry into Childcare for Disabled Children, Contact a Family (Charity)
London : Contact a Family, 2014.
This Inquiry was established to assess how well disabled children and young people and their families are included and served by the childcare system in Great Britain. In particular, it examined the extent of the barriers of affordability, availability and inclusion, quality, and access and information, and the potential policy measures that could address any barriers. This report presents the findings and recommendations of the Inquiry.

Mapping rural and remote early childhood intervention therapy services

Hanft M
Deakin : Services for Australian Rural and Remote Allied Health, 2014
This research project examined the accessibility of allied health professionals for children with a disability or developmental delay in rural and remote areas. It maps service coverage, and service gaps, as well as the availability of best practice therapies.

Identifying benefits and barriers to respite for carers of children with complex health needs : a qualitative study.

Welsh R, Dyer S, Evans D and Fereday J
Contemporary Nurse v. 48 no. 1 2014: 98-108
Increasing numbers of children with complex health needs are being cared for in their own homes. Caring for a child with complex health needs is an enormous task for a family and so access to suitable respite is critical for the wellbeing of all members of the family. The aim of this study was to explore the concept of 'suitable' respite from the perspective of the carer and whether suitable respite is currently available. Semi-structured interviews were conducted in the home of five carers and interview data analyses with a thematic analysis. This study identified some of the barriers and enablers for families when accessing respite services for children with complex health needs. Carers describe optimal respite for these children to be similar to a family home with suitable facilities, equipment and activities for children. Flexible respite services and enthusiastic competent staff were considered very important by the family carers. Further research is needed to better understand the complexities of care for CWCHN and to identify effective strategies to support family carers.

School readiness program for Aboriginal children with additional needs: working with children, families, communities and service providers : final evaluation

Purcal C, Newton B, Fisher K, Mears T, Smith M, Gibson S, Nagle W and Slabon K
Sydney, NSW : Social Policy Research Centre, University of New South Wales, 2014.
Northcott was funded by the state government to develop and trial a school readiness program for Aboriginal children with additional needs in New South Wales. The program included therapy, family support and information, inclusive playgroups, and early education services for Aboriginal children with developmental delays or disabilities and their families, to better support school readiness and successful transition to school. The program operated in several locations across two sites in New South Wales from January 2012 to June 2013. This report presents the final evaluation findings of the program. The evaluation investigated program implementation, outcomes for children and families, and what supports and interventions can best assist Aboriginal families.

Intellectual disability, Australia 2012

Australian Bureau of Statistics
Canberra, ACT : Australian Bureau of Statistics, 2014.
This resource presents information on the number of people with an intellectual disability in Australia and their support needs. Topics include: What is intellectual disability?; How many people have intellectual disability?; What are the causes of intellectual disability?; Areas and type of assistance needed; Carers and formal providers; Family and housing; School education; Non-school qualifications; Employment; and Employment restrictions. In 2012, there were around 668,100 people in Australia (2.9%) with intellectual disability, most commonly in the very young and very old. Because of this age profile, persons with intellectual disability show different patterns in sources of support than persons with other types of disability. In particular, given the concentration of intellectual disability in younger years it is no surprise that parents provided a large proportion of informal support.

Children with disabilities in out-of-home care : perspectives on organisational collaborations.

Ziviani J, Darlington Y, Feeney R, Meredith P and Head B
Children and Youth Services Review v. 35 no. 5 May 2013: 797-805
This article explores staff views on interagency collaboration in providing therapeutic support for children and young people in out-of-home-care with disabilities and extreme and complex behaviours. It is part of a broader evaluation of Evolve Behaviour Support Services (EBSS) teams in Queensland, a government-funded service providing therapeutic support and education services including child focused therapy, carer education and training, and environmental strategies. Interviews were held with 21 clinical and corporate staff, regarding the barriers and enablers to effective collaboration, benefits of collaboration, the ecological approach taken by EBSS, and working with carers.
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