Promoting Person-Centred Services

Supporting Parents with Learning Disabilities and Child Protection - 3 hour training course

Parents with learning disabilities are often judged harshly due to the fact they have a learning disability. With the appropriate support from services the child is more likely to remain with the parent and flourish. More often than not the appropriate support is not available which results in the child being removed from the family home.

Parents with learning disabilities are no more likely to abuse their child than any other parents. The main difficulty is that the mother is more likely to experience domestic abuse from a partner which invariably puts her child at risk.

We will be exploring the difficulties and dilemmas a parent with learning disabilities may experience in their parenting role and also the consequences for the child whose parent has a learning disability.

We will acknowledge and explore situations where there is a cause for concern and look at what support might make an important difference for both the parent and their child.


  • To increase awareness of  learning disabilities and the possible impact on the parenting role
  • To develop an understanding of the support needs of a parent with learning disabilities

Learning Outcomes

  • To acknowledge that parents with learning disabilities have the right to parent a child and recognise the additional support that may be required
  • To recognise the threshold of being considered a ‘good enough parent’ is often higher for a parent with learning disabilities
  • To understand the impact of living with parents with learning disabilities on children and young people
  • To acknowledge that systems and services are more likely to be ‘risk averse’ when responding to situations which involve a parent with learning disabilities
  • To explore how sensitivity in providing support needs to be balanced with assessing risks to children
  • To raise awareness of serious case reviews and lessons learned
  • To understand appropriate responses to promote safeguarding for children and young people living with parents with learning disabilities


  • Domestics, aims, learning outcomes, introductions
  • Learning disabilities quiz

Providing recent information and statistics regarding parents with learning disabilities

  • What is a learning disability?

Definition of a learning disability – the ‘Medical Model’

Causes of a learning disability

  • Rights vs Risks

Statements to be read in small groups - weighing up the parent’s rights to have a child and the possible risks to their child

Debating and discussion of statements in small groups

  • Abuse in context

Providing an overview/recent research relating to the possibilities and actuality of a parent with learning disabilities abusing his/her child


  • Possible difficulties a parent with learning disabilities might have in parenting – DVD

Information slides identifying possible difficulties the parent might encounter in particular at different stages of the child’s life where the parent needs to adapt their approaches to particular tasks

DVD – hearing the parents speak about the difficulties they have faced in bringing up a child


  • Attachment behaviours and care giving

Listening to the child’s voice – the child’s experience

  • Serious case review –Case scenario

Identifying Serious Case Reviews and what lessons can be learned?

  • when to intervene
  • how to respond to concerns
  • supportive strategies

In small groups – working through case scenarios where there may be a cause for concern  

  • The relationship between the parent with a learning disability and her child  - DVD

Listening to the parent’s voice – the parent’s experience

  • Questions
  • Close


For further information please contact: 

Tina Thordal – 07815 064710 or e-mail 

Bill Horrocks – 07929 035297 or e-mail