Social Policy and Society

Themed Section on Family Minded Policy and Whole Family Practice

Supporting Parents to Support Family Life: A Central Challenge for Family Minded Policy

Harriet Clarkea1

a1 Institute of Applied Social Studies, University of Birmingham E-mail:


Disabled parents can experience difficulties when trying to access services to support their parenting role, and this is exacerbated wherever disability continues to be articulated as if it were impairment and associated with a need for ‘care’. Disabled parents and their families experiences of services demonstrate that, for a family approach to be positively developed within social policy, individuals should be kept in sharp focus by policy makers, practitioners and researchers. Failure to do so can result in the problematisation of parents who have support requirements, itself a barrier to the development of appropriate services for parents and families.