Challenges and Supports for Employed Parents of Children and Youth with Special Needs

Eileen Brennan, Julie Rosenzweig, Pauline Jivanjee, Lisa M. Stewart

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Parents raising children and youth with special needs due to disability or compromised physical or mental health often find the exceptional care they provide results in caregiver strain and competes with workforce engagement. When parents disclose their family members’ special needs and care demands to obtain support, they can also face workplace stigma. This chapter maps research on family care demands onto studies of available family support, workplace support, and community support that may mitigate challenges and improve employment trajectories. Additionally, a cross-national comparison reveals that policy supports for parents providing exceptional care are fragmented at best in three countries: Canada, the United Kingdom, and the United States. Finally, the chapter proposes systematic investigations that can uncover shifts in policy and practice with the potential to improve employment outcomes for this substantial segment of the workforce.
Original languageAmerican English
Title of host publicationThe Oxford Handbook of Work and Family
StatePublished - Jul 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • Caregiver strain
  • Cross-national comparison
  • Disability
  • Disclosure
  • Employment trajectory
  • Exceptional care
  • Family support
  • Special needs
  • Stigma
  • Workplace support


  • Clinical Psychology
  • Medicine and Health Sciences
  • Nursing

Cite this