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Welfare reform on the Web (June 2007): Services for the disabled - Overseas

Families' care for their children with severe disabilities in Australia: social policy and support

S. Murray

Community, Work and Family, vol. 10, 2007, p.215-230

In Australia, from the 1980s, processes of de-institutionalisation and non-institutionalisation have resulted in most children with severe disabilities being cared for by their families at home. Current Australian government policy suggests that care will increasingly be undertaken at home. This paper draws on a series of qualitative in-depth interviews with parents of severely disabled children. Results show that, in spite of access to a range of formal support services, families experience inequalities and disadvantages with respect to income, work, leisure and the quality of family life. Provision of support services has been inadequate to enable engagement in activities that other families take for granted.

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