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Focal Point

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Children with disabilities -- Family relationships, Children with disabilities -- Care, Children with disabilities -- Rehabilitation, Caregivers -- Services for


This article examines the ways in which families with employed caregivers and children with emotional and behavioral disorders manage to meet the demands of employment and family responsibilities. Finding a fit between the demands of work and family life is a struggle for every employed mother and father. For parents whose children have emotional, behavioral, or mental disorders, meeting this challenge can prove extremely stressful, particularly since supportive services are notably lacking. There has been little research on the perceptions of employed parents of children with mental health concerns about the ways in which work and family responsibilities can fit together. This article reports the findings from a study which addressed the strategies and services the parents employed to make these adaptations work in six major domains: employment, child care, education, transportation, financial assistance, and household tasks and management.


Article originally appeared in Focal Point, Fall 1999. This and other articles may be found at

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