There are limited studies which investigate the perceived needs and wellbeing of parents caring for their children with disability from culturally and linguistically diverse communities. This qualitative study uniquely explored the experiences and cultural factors of Vietnamese parents caring for children with a disability in multicultural Australia.
The study recruited Vietnamese parents who were attending a culturally and linguistically oriented support group in Sydney. The Carers’ and Users’ Expectations of Services (Carer version) was used to examine the perspectives of the parents. The data were analysed thematically.
Three main themes were found. First, Vietnamese parents wanted to obtain more information and support, and to be more involved and better engaged with the treatment plan of their children with disability. They were currently receiving inadequate information and faced language and structural barriers in attaining help. Second, they experienced complex and multiple needs such as social isolation, financial problems and limited caring choices. Third, they received significant emotional and social support from their support group, showing the benefits of providing culturally and linguistically oriented support groups.
Service providers need to consider the needs of Vietnamese parents with children with disabilities holistically and aim to address those needs within a complex health and social care context. Disability workers should adopt cultural safety in their practice to support parents and children from ethnic minority groups. Culturally and linguistically oriented support groups have shown to be promising to support such parents in host countries.