National Core Indicators Releases Data Highlight About People with Disabilities Who are Parents
The National Core Indicators (NCI) released a data highlight titled “What can states learn from NCI™ results about people with disabilities who are parents?” The highlight speaks to the 2017-2018 National Core Indicators™ In-Person Survey Data, which indicates that 4.5% of respondents were reported to be parents.
The highlight further states “As a field, we continue to move towards a society in which people with I/DD engage in all aspects of the human experience, including intimate relationships and parenting. Up until recently – and perhaps still happening in some states, children of parents with disabilities were referred to the state child welfare agency and were brought into state care to be fostered or adopted.1 Though this practice is no longer the default response, the standard menu of supports in most states does not include services specifically aimed at parents with disabilities. There are also legal issues that parents with disabilities may be more likely to face including questions about guardianship, and medical consent issues surrounding pregnancy and the health of their child. For those individuals who may decide not to raise a child, the availability of adoption opportunities and counseling are necessary resources.”
The highlight reminds all of us to ask questions. Here are a few: Is your state aware of the number of people supported in the I/DD system who are parents? Can people with I/DD who are parents access services that are tailored to meet their unique needs? Are there collaborative efforts among state agencies to provide educational opportunities for potential and current parents with disabilities regarding child care and other important aspects of child rearing? Are parents with disabilities aware of supports through Maternal Child Health programs and Women Infant and Children’s Nutrition.