Good enough parents? Exploring attitudes of family centre workers supporting and assessing parents with learning difficulties

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


An increasing number of adults with learning difficulties are becoming parents; although there is no foundation for presuming they will inevitably neglect or abuse their children, some require additional support and services to enable them to provide safe and nurturing environments for their children. This growing area of practice is clearly complex; however, whilst studies have found that parents with learning difficulties are likely to suffer more stereotyping and be measured against harsher criteria than non-disabled parents, there is limited research to date on practitioners’ views and experiences. With this in mind, the author carried out semi-structured interviews with six family centre workers employed by an East of England local authority. Findings highlight the highly emotional impact of this area of work and the complex layering of personal, professional, organisational and societal values and attitudes which affect their practice. A number of barriers to social justice and best practice are identified, including communication, access to services, specialist knowledge or resources and risk aversion; the author concludes with some suggestions for improving practice.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)169-190
Number of pages22
JournalPractice: Social Work in Action
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 4 Jul 2013

Cite this