Disabled Children in Out-of-Home Care: Issues and Challenges for Practice

Abstract

Despite consistent evidence of great risk of abuse or neglect for disabled children and their over-representation in the public care system, there has been a notable gap in research into the experiences of disabled children in contact with child protection services or placed in out-of-home care (Dowling, Kelly & Winter, 2013). This chapter discusses findings from a qualitative study that sought to address this gap in knowledge by investigating the experiences of disabled children living in out-of-home care. The chapter will explore the complexities of family support permanence, participation and access to specialist services, drawing on the views of disabled children and young people, their birth parents/carers and social workers. Finally, we will explore the implications of the study findings in relation to theorising disabled childhoods and informing critical approaches to working with disabled children in out-of-home care.