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Article Targets Bias Against Parents with Disabilities

Associated Press reporter David Crary recently did this article on the problems parents with disabilities experience.

Some parents have had their children removed from their homes because social service workers deemed their disabilities made them unfit to parent. One parent quoted in the article had difficulty adopting when she told agency staff she lived with disability.

The article was prompted by a new report from the National Council on Disability, which calls on changes to end the bias against parents with disabilities.

Child welfare experts say supporting parents with disabilities and keeping families intact is important. However, removing children from the homes may be necessary in some cases, experts said.

“At the end of the day, the child’s interest in having permanence and stability has to be the priority over the interests of their parents,” said National Association of Social Workers member Judith Schagrin, MSW, ACSW, LCSW-C, who is assistant director for children’s services at the Baltimore County Department of Social Services.

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