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Parent's participation in the social inclusion of children with disabilities in Bosnia and Herzegovina and Croatia

Bećirević , Majda and Dowling, Monica (2012). Parent's participation in the social inclusion of children with disabilities in Bosnia and Herzegovina and Croatia. The Open Society Foundation, London .

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Document Language: Bosnian [bosanski]
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Abstract

This study examines the attitudes and actions of parents of children with disabilities in Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) and Croatia. Part of the former Yugoslavia, these two South-eastern European countries have undergone major economic and socio-political changes since the early 90s. Historically disabled children with disabilities suffered high levels of social and educational exclusion in these countries whereas now a public discussion of inclusion and children’s rights prevails (Burke, 1994; UNICEF, 2005, 2007; Carter, 2005, Becirevic and Tsokova, 2009; UNICEF, 2010). To what extent this new rhetoric is reflected in practice and professional discourse varies as shown in this report.

Based on participative qualitative methodology, 89 parents of disabled children in BiH and Croatia shared their views, and discussed their actions in relation to the care and support available for their children. The study has identified promising examples of inclusion, grassroots parents’ activism and models of cooperation between parents and practitioners. Parents in both countries were generally dissatisfied with: medical care and disability assessments; their relationships with professionals and the lack of support at the time of diagnosis and prognosis. Some were more satisfied with their children’s inclusion in early education and primary schools and all were very satisfied with the role of parents’ organisations in relation to care and advocacy.

Parents’ organisations were unanimously viewed as a valuable resource for both parents and children, often serving as a first point of reference for a family as well as helping overcome gaps in state services. This study has identified an important principle - that parents’ organisation can serve an a vehicle for inclusion, and more state and international resources need to be invested in supporting advocacy and capacity building of these organisations.

Item Type: Other
Copyright Holders: 2012 Open Society Foundation, London
Academic Unit/Department: Health and Social Care > Social Work
Interdisciplinary Research Centre: Centre for Citizenship, Identities and Governance (CCIG)
Innovation, Knowledge & Development research centre (IKD)
Related URLs:
Item ID: 33183
Depositing User: Monica Dowling
Date Deposited: 14 Mar 2012 13:35
Last Modified: 23 Oct 2014 15:33
URI: http://oro.open.ac.uk/id/eprint/33183
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