Enhancing supports for parents with disabilities: a qualitative inquiry into parent centered planning

Sharyn DeZelar, Elizabeth Lightfoot

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


There is a dearth of available supports and services aimed specifically at parents with disabilities. The Parent-Centered Planning (PCP) intervention was developed to fill this gap, aiming to enhance supports for parenting for parents with disabilities. This brief approach was modeled after person-centered planning, with a focus specifically on parenting. This qualitative paper explores the experiences of a sample of parents (N = 13) with physical, intellectual and/or developmental disabilities who participated in a pilot study of PCP. Our study found that nearly all parents participating in the intervention strengthened relationships during the process of participation in PCP, clarified their goals related to parenting, and made progress toward their identified goals. The study also found that parents had mental health concerns, often related specifically to their disability supports. The article describes the nuances of these findings and discusses the implications for practice and future research.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)263-281
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of Family Social Work
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • disability
  • Parenting
  • person-centered
  • social support
  • supportive intervention

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Development
  • Sociology and Political Science


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