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Positive practice in supporting parents who have a learning disability

Heather Crozier, Sarah Morris and Nicky Genders

Many people with a learning disability who are parents or who want to become parents do not have a positive experience of trying to get support.

In November 2012 we were given some funding to undertake a small project looking at how parents with a learning disability could be supported in a more positive way in our local area.

We worked with lots of different agencies and parents to look at the following:

  • assessment of parenting
  • resources parents and workers might find useful
  • how everyone can communicate with each other (networking).

We learnt lots from the parents we worked with particularly Chloe and Luke (not their real names but these are the names they chose to be known as). They would have liked to have been able to speak the conference too but they are having a difficult time at the minute. They wanted to share their story though saying 'we want people to know' so we worked together to write down their experiences to share with you.

During the project we found out a number of things about how different agencies work, how they assess parents and what resources they have that we could share. We also talked about the things we could do differently that might help parents.

Chloe, Luke and all of the workers from different agencies helped us put together the project report where we make recommendations about how we can work more positively for parents in the future.

Biographies

Heather Crozier –I have worked as a Community Learning Disability Nurse since 1999 and I am currently working in the Charnwood area of Leicestershire. Since 1999, I have always had an interest in working with parents who have a learning disability and have sought to improve the service they receive. In 2008 I started to work in partnership with my colleague, Mrs Nicky Genders, from De Montfort University, Leicester and Sarah Morris (Community Learning Disability Nurse). Through our informal partnership working, we gradually were able to secure money to support a yearlong curriculum enhancing project which aimed to identify areas of work which could improve the services parents with a learning disability could access. The project lasted from November 2012 until November 2013 and I am currently in the process of confirming the next course of action with partners involved in the project.

Sarah Morris – I have worked as a Community Learning Disability Nurse since 1989 and I am currently working in the City of Leicester. Since 1989, I have always had an interest in working with parents who have a learning disability and have sought to improve the service they receive. In 2008 I started to work in partnership with my colleague, Mrs Nicky Genders, from De Montfort University, Leicester and Heather Crozier (Community Learning Disability Nurse). Through our informal partnership working, we gradually were able to secure money to support a yearlong curriculum enhancing project which aimed to identify areas of work which could improve the services parents with a learning disability could access. The project lasted from November 2012 until November 2013 and I am currently in the process of confirming the next course of action with partners involved in the project.

Nicky Genders – I have been a lecturer in learning disability nursing at De Montfort University in Leicester for many years. In addition to my teaching I have also worked on a number of projects that have focussed on parenting by people who have a learning disability. These have included a national project looking at how we can improve maternity services for women with learning disabilities and more recently a project with Heather Crozier and Sarah Morris, two community nurses from our local NHS Trust. This project is looking at how we can help support parents who have a learning disability in their parenting. (Correspondence ngenders@dmu.ac.uk)

Contact us

About the Group

If you woud like to get in touch with the Social History of Learning Disability (SHLD) Research Group, please contact:

Liz Tilley 
Chair of the Social History of Learning Disability (SHLD) Research Group
School of Health, Wellbeing and Social Care
Faculty of Wellbeing, Education and Language Studies
The Open University
Walton Hall
Milton Keynes
MK7 6AA

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