Having a child with a disability can place significant stress on families. It may negatively affect a family’s working, social and home life as well as their financial security (Dowling and Dolan, 2001: 21). Families may also experience feelings of grief, a sense of hopelessness and/or social isolation (Woolfson 2004). While some families have difficulty coping with these stressors, others develop and maintain resilience. This project aimed to define and describe the term ‘family resilience’ as it relates to families who have a child aged 0-8 years with a disability, and to describe the evidence that underpins the identification and practice of family resilience in the 0-8 years age range. The research analysed service models in order to identify and define elements of practice that build family resilience, detract from family resiliency, and are crucial to the maintenance of resiliency during times of transition. The project identif and presented tools that can be used to measure family resiliency in families with a child with a disability.
Australian Government Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs