Parenting With Disability

Monday, October 4, 2021 9:59:35 PM

Parenting With Disability

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Parenting Twins With Disabilities (My Perfect Family: Twins)

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That's what people need to realize. Like, it's okay. It's not un-normal, it's normal," says Higgins. The couple recalls getting pregnant on their first try, something Higgins wasn't sure she'd be able to do so easily: "I was like, 'There's no way. Her pregnancy was "pretty smooth," she says, except the last few weeks when it began "taking a toll" on her body. And now they have a family of three, and new addition Luke is an "overall great baby," the proud parents say. I'm kind of surprised," Jimmy says.

I'm excited to be his biggest supporter. You never had social media, obviously. Now you get to see so many people that are just like you that you can get support from. Individuals with disabilities must be treated on a case-by-case basis consistent with facts and objective evidence. Full and equal opportunity. Individuals with disabilities must be provided opportunities to benefit from or participate in child welfare programs, services, and activities that are equal to those extended to individuals without disabilities.

In other instances, this may mean making reasonable modifications to policies, procedures, or practices, unless doing so would result in a fundamental alteration to the nature of the program. Under Title II of the ADA or Section , in some cases, a parent or prospective parent with a disability may not be appropriate for child placement because he or she poses a significant risk to the health or safety of the child that cannot be eliminated by a reasonable modification. However, both the ADA and Section require that decisions about child safety and whether a parent or prospective parent represents a threat to safety must be based on an individualized assessment and objective facts, including the nature, duration, and severity of the risk to the child, and the probability that the potential injury to the child will actually occur.

The attached Questions and Answers provide more detailed information and specific implementation examples for child welfare agencies and courts. Answer : Title II of the ADA provides that no qualified individual with a disability shall, by reason of such disability, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination in, the services, programs, or activities of state and local government entities. Answer : Title II of the ADA and Section protect qualified individuals with disabilities, which can include children, parents, legal guardians, relatives, other caretakers, foster and adoptive parents, and individuals seeking to become foster or adoptive parents, from discrimination by child welfare agencies and courts.

A companion may include any family member, friend, or associate of a person seeking or receiving child welfare services. Individuals enjoy this protection whether or not they have a disability. Answer : Title II covers all of the programs, services, and activities of state and local governments, their agencies, and departments. Title II and Section also make child welfare agencies responsible for the programs and activities of private and non-profit agencies that provide services to children and families on behalf of the state or municipality.

Answer : Yes. State court proceedings, such as termination of parental rights proceedings, are state activities and services for purposes of Title II. Courts are required to provide auxiliary aids and services when necessary to ensure effective communication, unless an undue burden or fundamental alteration would result. Like child welfare agencies, courts must also make reasonable modifications to policies, practices, and procedures where necessary to avoid discrimination on the basis of disability. Or it may be necessary to provide an aide or other assistive services in order for a person with a disability to participate fully in a court event. Title II prohibits discrimination in child welfare programs and services when those services are provided by contractors.

Answer : Under Title II of the ADA and Section , child welfare agencies and courts must make changes in policies, practices, and procedures to accommodate the individual needs of a qualified person with a disability, unless the change would result in a fundamental alteration to the nature of the program. To provide assistance to parents with disabilities that is equal to that offered to parents without disabilities, child welfare agencies may be required to provide enhanced or supplemental training, to increase frequency of training opportunities, or to provide such training in familiar environments conducive to learning. For example, child welfare agencies may have a parenting skills class once per week. For a parent with a disability who requires individualized assistance in learning new skills because of her or his disability, child welfare agencies may need to modify this training to allow more frequent, longer, or more meaningful training.

What are auxiliary aids and services? What does it mean to provide effective communication? Answer : Child welfare agencies and courts are required to take appropriate steps — including the provision of appropriate auxiliary aids and services — where necessary to ensure that individuals with communication disabilities understand what is said or written and can communicate as effectively as individuals without disabilities. For example, a qualified interpreter may be necessary for smaller settings involving only a few people, such as home visits or assessments, whereas the use of real-time captioning may be appropriate during larger group meetings, such as family team meetings or in court, where numerous people are present or where the layout of the room makes it difficult to view an interpreter and obtain visual cues from the speaker.

The type of auxiliary aid or service necessary to ensure effective communication will vary in accordance with the method of communication used by the individual with a disability; the nature, length, and complexity of the communication involved; and the context in which the communication is taking place. However, to communicate a simple message such as an appointment date or address, handwritten notes may be sufficient. Child welfare agencies must refrain from using minor children as interpreters except in limited exigent circumstances. Adult companions may be used as interpreters only in emergencies and only when other factors are met. State and local child welfare agencies and courts must give primary consideration to the auxiliary aid or service requested by the individual.

In order to be effective, auxiliary aids and services must be provided in a timely manner and in such a way as to protect the privacy and independence of the individual with a disability. Child welfare agencies and courts may rely on adults accompanying individuals with disabilities to interpret, but only in emergencies or where the individual with a disability specifically makes such a request, the accompanying adult agrees to provide such assistance, and reliance on that adult for such assistance is appropriate under the circumstances. Title II and Section require that agency staff refrain from basing assessments, services, or decisions on assumptions, generalizations, or stereotypes about disability.

At the same time, service plans should not rely on fears or stereotypes to require parents with disabilities to accept unnecessary services or complete unnecessary tasks to prove their fitness to parent when nondisabled parents would not be required to do so. To ensure that persons with disabilities have equal opportunity to retain or reunify with their children, it may be necessary for the agency to reasonably modify policies, practices, and procedures in child welfare proceedings. In general, agencies should consider whether their existing policies, practices, and procedures; their actual processing of cases; and their training materials comply with the nondiscrimination requirements of Title II and Section for individuals with disabilities. In some instances, providing appropriate supports for persons with disabilities means selecting an appropriate alternative already provided in the Federal child welfare statutes.

For instance, section of the Social Security Act provides that the child welfare agency is required to file a petition to terminate parental rights when the child is in foster care for the preceding 15 out of 22 months. However, the law provides exceptions to this requirement and gives child welfare agencies the flexibility to work with parents who have a child in foster care beyond the 15 month period, including parents with disabilities.

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