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COVID-19: implications for our practice

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Printed: 17/05/2021
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Parental intellectual disability

Updated: 22 September 2013

What's Important To Us

Parental intellectual impairment is an important factor that social workers need to consider when assessing parenting ability and putting in place suitable parenting support to ensure children and young people are able to reach their full potential. Intellectually disabled parents may need specific supports to enable them to fulfill their parental role, and some of this support may require linking the disabled parents with family/whānau and/or disability organisations. This is complex work but when completed well, can have hugely beneficial outcomes for all parties.

This key information discusses the impact of parental disability on children and young people and the difficulty of both protecting children and supporting intellectually disabled parents. It also provides tips for social workers working with intellectually disabled parents and child protection factors to consider.

This key information needs to be read in the context of the New Zealand Disability Strategy which has a vision of New Zealand being a fully inclusive society. The Strategy states that New Zealand will be inclusive when people with impairments can say they live in "a society that highly values our lives and continually enhances our full participation".