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Dr. Elizabeth Lightfoot

Parents with Disabilities and the Child Welfare System

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Dr. Elizabeth Lightfoot

Child welfare has a strong crossover with the disability field, yet there has been little critical examination of child welfare services through a disability lens and no substantial examination of how its policies and programs affect people with disabilities and their family members. In this episode, Dr. Elizabeth Lightfoot discusses her research on the impact of child welfare policies on parents with disabilities.

Interviewer: Savra Frounfelker, MSW

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  • HI Savra and Dr. Lightfoot! I loved this podcast! My name is Kelly I am a masters student at the University of Illinois Urbana – Champaign in the school of social work. I really like how you said you have a “broad view” on disabilities in your work. Often times, even in my small experience in the field, I have seen agencies only accept and offer services to either people with mental disabilities or people with physical disabilities, never both. I think it is really important to not put more focus onto one or the other. If someone with any disability reaches out for help, whether it be mental or physical, their needs should be met, especially if children are involved. It is interesting to learn that in your experience, you see that parents enjoy a more informal support and that it is not often that they need help with parenting. It really shows the strength and resilience these parents have.

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