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Family Matters No. 76 - June 2007

Families' care work during the transition from school to post-school for children with severe disabilities

Suellen Murray

Abstract

Family members provide the vast majority of care for young people with disabilities. This article considers the care provided by parents during a child's transition from school, based on in-depth interviews with mothers of eight young women aged 16-24 years, with severe or profound disabilities, from regional areas of Tasmania and suburban areas of Victoria. The mothers describe their efforts to find suitable day programs and the changes in government health and financial services offered once the child is considered to be of adult age. Unlike non-disabled young people leaving school, severely disabled young people and their families do not experience a transition as such, but rather a continuation of care and dependence.

Family members provide the vast majority of care for young people with disabilities. This article considers the care provided by parents during a child's transition from school, based on in-depth interviews with mothers of eight young women aged 16-24 years, with severe or profound disabilities, from regional areas of Tasmania and suburban areas of Victoria. The mothers describe their efforts to find suitable day programs and the changes in government health and financial services offered once the child is considered to be of adult age. Unlike non-disabled young people leaving school, severely disabled young people and their families do not experience a transition as such, but rather a continuation of care and dependence.

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