Empowering Parents with Learning Difficulties

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Andrea and Thomas’ Story
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Parent’s Charter
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Our Family Empowerment Projects recognise that parents and their children are increasingly going through deep, painful and unnecessary separations. Too many parents are losing custody when, with the right kind of support, they could provide safe, loving homes to happy and well adjusted children.

Our family empowerment support is provided for parents with learning difficulties or cognitive, physical or sensory impairments or parents who have mental health differences or other disadvantages. Our package of support can include:

  • Coaching for parents within their own homes to increase parenting skills
  • Supervised and guided contact sessions with children
  • Direct support for parents going through the court system, fighting to maintain their rights to parent, we provide assessments, viability reports and reviews
  • Direct support for parents both pre-court and going through the family court system, preventing situations of crisis
  • Court requested assessments of parenting capacity within the family home and local community settings.


Court requests are growing daily, with regular enquiries from solicitors who are desperate to find someone to do this skilled and important work.

Our aim is for families to stay together, provided this can be achieved without putting children at risk, and to support disabled parents to be the best parents they can possibly be.

Some of the issues we support parents with are:

  • The child’s development needs such as health, social identity, education, presentation, self care skills, family and social relationships, emotional and behavioural development
  • The parents’ own capacity to parent, including basic care, stability, stimulation, emotional warmth, and issues related to guidance and boundaries
  • Family and environmental factors including family history and functioning, wider family, housing, employment, income, the families’ social integration and community resources.

Using our experience from working with families in these difficult situations we have developed a range of tools and resources to assist us when working with parents. The toolkit, called Family Matters, has been trialled with families and related professionals and is currently in publication to make these tools available more widely.


Academy for Inspiring Inclusion

Training programmes in Family Empowerment and our Positive Praising Approach for working with children with challenging behaviour are available from the Academy see our website www.academyforinspiringinclusion.org.uk


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