Relinquishing care of a child with developmental disabilities can be a traumatic experience for parents. The aim of this study was to explore the perception of professionals regarding the relationships within families and service systems that contribute towards the relinquishment of children with Intellectual Disability (ID) and challenging behavior. Fifteen disability professionals were interviewed from a variety of disciplines, each having been involved in supporting a family while they relinquished care. A constructionist grounded theory approach was used for analysis, with data interpreted through a systemic lens. An accumulation of factors led to relinquishment, including the cumulative isolation of mothers within the family and within informal and professional networks of relationships. These findings must be understood in the context of societal discourses that both pathologise and overburden mothers with caregiving roles for children with disabilities. Interventions need to focus assertively on whole family involvement and repair, and on community development, if relinquishment is to be prevented.
Relinquishment, Challenging Behaviour, Family Therapy, Discourse
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Recommended APA Citation
Ng, J., & Rhodes, P. (2018). Why Do Families Relinquish Care of Children with Intellectual Disability and Severe Challenging Behaviors? Professional’s Perspectives. The Qualitative Report, 23(1), 146-157. https://doi.org/10.46743/2160-3715/2018.3114