International research project launched to review support for families with disabled children

Girl in wheelchair with her family

Amaze has been selected as one of six organisations worldwide in ‘Balancing Act’, a new research project conducted by researchers from Queens University Canada.

Balancing Act will look at the balance between ‘formal’ (such as support from local and national government and paid support) and ‘natural’ (such as family or peer support networks) support for people with disabilities and their families, in six different locations around the world.

The work of Amaze and the support systems in Sussex for families with disabled children and young people will be compared to support for families with disabled children in Bangladesh, Ethiopia, Guatemala, Mozambique, and the United States.

This project launched its Sussex case study on 7th March in Brighton, as part of the annual PaCC Awards, with researchers from Queens University attending to find out more about the support families with children with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) in Sussex receive. Around 70 people attended the launch including parent carers, parent support groups and representatives from Brighton and Hove City Council, NHS and other partners. See more reflections from this event on the project blog here: UK launches Balancing Act in Brighton

Sally Polanski, CEO of Amaze said:

“We are delighted to have been selected as a partner in this exciting international research collaboration, which aims to review the needs of families with disabled children and young people and the support provided in different countries’ contexts.

“As well as learning from others, we hope to be able to showcase how vital it is that families with SEND children are supported and the gaps in support currently provided, even in higher-income countries like the UK. We also hope to bring into the spotlight the huge value of support provided by families themselves, volunteers and support groups in the local area.”


Get involved

In the autumn there will be opportunities for parent carers to get involved in the project, either being trained as researchers to carry out interviews, or participating in interviews and other activities to share their experiences and views. All participation will be reimbursed.

To get involved in the project email Fiona England from Brighton PaCC.

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