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Short break and respite services for disabled children in England : comparing children's and parents' perspectives of their impact on children

Welch, Vicki and Collins, Michelle and Hatton, Chris and Emerson, Eric and Robertson, Janet and Wells, Emma and Langer, Susanne (2014) Short break and respite services for disabled children in England : comparing children's and parents' perspectives of their impact on children. Children and Society, 28 (6). pp. 478-494. ISSN 0951-0605

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Abstract

Researchers, health and social care workers often seek to understand the perspectives of children; but gathering views directly from children can present difficulties. Parents are often asked to provide accounts of children’s feelings or opinions on the assumption that their proxy reports are accurate and unproblematic. This qualitative thematic analysis of open-question responses from 352 parents and 73 disabled children, examines their accounts of the impact of short break services on disabled children. Participants’ perspectives differed; children tended to describe immediate outcomes such as enjoying activities and participation; parents acknowledged these, but focused on longer-term developmental outcomes for children.