Health Sciences

Parent and family factors in childhood disability

Research within the family domain will occur in collaboration with, and direct application to the needs of, families raising a child with additional care needs due to childhood onset impairment. Addressing the crucial and complex role of parents, our research involves mixed methods and designs and evaluation of family-centred instruments. This work addresses issues of parental mental and general health; financial and service navigation challenges affecting families; and empowerment of families to contribute to their child’s health and wellbeing, supported by informed professionals. Our research informs ways to improve the lifetime health and education service system that surrounds families and the child, adolescent, and adult with impairments.

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Project leads: Dr Helen Bourke-Taylor and Dr Fiona Jane MBBS (Monash University)

When mothers are the primary caregiver, maternal health is crucial to the care and wellbeing of a child or young person with a disability. This program and associated set of interventions aims to educate and empower women to be proactive and active in their own health, wellbeing and supports. Delivered as single day workshops by an occupational therapist and a general practitioner specialised in women’s health, this program aims to improve the care available to carers through an innovative health program. Current aims include  packaging the program for wider dissemination and evaluating outcomes for mothers in a larger study.