(07) 3262 9877        info@wwild.org.au        Monday – Friday 9AM – 5PM
(07) 3262 9877

Parents with Intellectual Disabilities: Services, Resources and Research



Community Living Association has a program supporting Parents with Intellectual disabilities.  It is located in Brisbane but operates in areas north and south of Brisbane local government area. Please contact CLA on Ph: (07) 3266 5633 or check their website at www.communityliving.org.au.


National Disability Insurance Agency

Phone: 1800 800 110

Email: enquiries@ndis.gov.au

Or for more information click on this website link https://www.ndis.gov.au/

To download Access request and supporting evidence forms, click on this website link.

For more information on your local Local Area Coordination (LAC) (age 7 – 65 years old) and Early Childhood Early Intervention (ECEI) services (under 6 years old) to assist with accessing the NDIS, go to: https://www.ndis.gov.au/understanding/ndis-each-state/queensland

Get Help to Access the NDIS: 

The Assessment and Referral Team (ART) provides an intensive case management approach to support eligible people aged 7-65 access the NDIS. Eligibility includes the person must:

  • live in a remote or very remote location (i.e. geographical areas not supported by a LAC PitC)
  • is a child or young person connected to the child protection system, Youth Justice Stronger Communities Initiative or meet the criteria of the serious repeat offender index
  • is an adult living in community and connected to offender support programs
  • is an adult living in level 3 supported accommodation
  • identify as culturally and linguistically diverse and are engaged with resettlement and refugee programs
  • and are referred for emergency support.

Ask ART for help or make a referral for a person you support:


Research Centre for Children and Families – University of Sydney

Their aims are:

  • to improve policy and practice for families who need extra support in NSW and Australia.
  • take a rights-based approach. This means we promote justice, equality and best interests for children and their families.
  • work with research experts from many different areas. Some examples are social work, law, health, disability studies and psychology.
  • work with First Nations people and culturally and linguistically diverse groups and their organisations. We support community led research that draws on the strengths and knowledge of diverse families and communities.
  • and use co-design and arts-based methods to support authentic research inclusion for diverse families, including those living with disability.

For more information Click HERE

Their  Supporting the Woman, Supporting the Mother project has developed resources for parents with intellectual disability including:

  • A tip sheet for parents about getting the right support and using the NDIS
  • Videos of parents with intellectual disability sharing their experience of parenting and services.
  • Information about advocacy and support.

Click HERE to look at the tip sheet or videos.

Click HERE for Supporting the Women, Supporting the Mother project webinar launch.


Toward Access and Equity: Disability-Informed Practice in Child Protection – A guide to Assessing Parenting Capacity with Parents with Intellectual Disability resource. 

The Research Centre for Children and Families has produced a resource to increase the disability skills of child protection professionals. The resource will increase the chances of families staying together by helping professionals take simple steps to assess parents with intellectual disability in a fair and accessible way.

To learn more about the resource please go to: https://www.sydney.edu.au/news-opinion/news/2022/06/20/resource-will-help-reduce-prejudice-against-parents-with-intelle.html

To access the resource please go to: HERE


Healthy Start provided resources to assists parents with learning disabilities and previously worked with University of Sydney and the Parenting Research Centre. These are still available online. Please take the time to explore their website. www.healthystart.net.au.

Some papers include:

Practice Point: What is intellectual disability anyway? Click on https://www.parentingrc.org.au/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/What_is_Intellectual_Disability.pdf

Practice Point: Advocacy Support During Child Protection Involvement.  Click on: https://www.parentingrc.org.au/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/Advocacy-Support-During-Child-Protection.pdf

Practice Point: Implementing Parent Education Programs. Click on: https://www.parentingrc.org.au/wp-content/uploads/Practice_Point_Implementing_Parent_Education.pdf


The Bumpy Road – Easy English fact sheets for parents with intellectual difficulties dealing with the child protection system. It is advice from parents with experience. Developed by The Wash House. © Copyright The WASH House Inc. For more information email: info@bumpyroad.org.au. It is not legal advice and it is based on families in NSW only. Some useful information for QLD.


We’ve Got This: Parenting with a Disability – ABC Life Matters

We’ve Got This: Parenting with a Disability is a new series produced by Eliza Hull. Eliza has a neurological condition ‘Charcot Marie Tooth’, and she’s the ABC’s 2018 Regional Storyteller Scholarship recipient. When Eliza was pregnant with her daughter, she felt unrepresented in every one of the countless parenting books. Discouraged, she was prompted to develop a project sharing the stories of parents with disabilities in a way that could accurately represent each family’s life. The series explores the complexities that parenting with a disability brings, whilst also challenging the stigmas and stereotypes. Click on link below.



Emerging Minds leads the National Workforce Centre for Child Mental Health, delivered in partnership with the Australian Institute of Family Studies (AIFS), the Australian National University (ANU), the Parenting Research Centre (PRC) and the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGP). It develops mental health policy, services, interventions, training, programs and resources in response to the needs of professionals, to children and their families. They partner with family members, national and international organisations to implement evidence-based practice into the Australian context. Our resources are freely available on the website. Click on the following link. www.emergingminds.com.au. 


Positive Powerful Parents

Positive Powerful Parents is a Self Advocacy Group run by and for Parents with Intellectual Disability, operates only in Victoria. It started in 2012 by Susan with support from Reinforce Self Advocacy Group. Susan discovered that she was not the only parent with intellectual disability to be involved with child protection and lose her child. The group then began because of the numbers of parents with an intellectual disability that do not get the supports they needed to keep their children at home. There are lots of useful resources on this website which will help parents with intellectual disabilities and also support people.

Positive Powerful Parents believe that:

  • parents with intellectual disability have their own unique way of parenting and with the right supports in place, most parents should be able to keep their children at home.
  • parents with intellectual disability have the right to access the supports they need.
  • when parents with intellectual disability become involved with child protection, they need to have plans put in place, so families get the chance to be kept together.
  • the Victorian Government to be committed to ending the discrimination of parents with intellectual disability.


The Raising Children Network has resources for parents of children with disability about the NDIS, including easy English guides. It is making some new resources for parents with intellectual disability about the NDIS. Please click on this link to see the website. https://raisingchildren.net.au/disability/ndis


Suggested Research Articles Include:

Australia’s National Research Organisation for Women’s Safety. (2020). Violence prevention and early intervention for mothers and children with disability: Building promising practice: Key findings and future directions (Research to policy and practice, 16/2020). Sydney: ANROWS. Download report

Collings, S., Spencer, M., Dew A. & Dowse L. (2018): ‘She was there if I needed to talk or to try and get my point across’: specialist advocacy for parents with intellectual disability in the Australian child protection system. Australian Journal of Human Rights, To link to this article: https://doi.org/10.1080/1323238X.2018.1478595

Collings, S., Strnadová, I., Loblinzk, J., & Danker J. (2020). Benefits and limits of peer support for mothers with intellectual disability affected by domestic violence and child protection. Disability & Society, 35(3), 413-434. Pre-print accessible here

Lamont, A. (n.d). Presentation on Parental Intellectual Disability and Child Protection: Key Issues. National Child Protection Clearinghouse. Australian Government Australian Institute of Family Studies. ACT.  http://www.aifs.gov.au/nch/pubs/issues/issues31/issues31.html

Llewellyn, G., & Hindmarsh, G. (2015). Parents with Intellectual Disability in a Population Context. Current developmental disorders reports, 2(2), 119-126. Available for download at: https://ses.library.usyd.edu.au/handle/2123/13553

Man, N., Llewellyn, G., & Wade, C. (July 2014). Estimated Prevalence and Living Circumstances of Parents with Intellectual Disability in Australia from Selected National Surveys: Technical Report 1. Lidcombe, NSW: University of Sydney, available at http://www.healthystart.net.au/images/resources/04-Exploring-Research-Evidence/PrevalenceStudy_TechnicalReport_1_Aug2014.pdf

McConnell, D., Llewellyn, G. And Ferronato, L. (2000). Parents with a Disability and the NSW Children’s Court. The Family Support and Services Project. The University of Sydney: Sydney NSW. Available at: http://sydney.edu.au/health-sciences/afdsrc/docs/mcconnell-parents.pdf

McConnell, D., Dalziel, A., Llewellyn, G., Laidlaw, K. and Hindmarsh, G. (2008). Strengthing the social relationships of mothers with learning difficulties. British journal of Learning Disabilities, 37. Pp 66-75.

Mildon, R. and Mathews, J. (n.d). Best practice in parenting education- Understanding and Supporting Parents with Learning Difficulties. Victorian Government Department of Human Services, Victorian Parenting Centre: Carlton, VIC. 28 pgs.

Munford, R, Sanders, J, Veitch, BM & Conder, J 2008, ‘Looking inside the bag of tools: creating research encounters with parents with an intellectual disability’, Disability and Society, 23, pp. 337-347.

Norah Fry Research Centre (2006). Providing the Right Support- an evaluation of the North Eastern Parent Support service and Walsall Parents Advocacy service- Executive Summary. Norah Fry Research Centre, University of Bristol. Bristol: UK.

Tarleton, B., Ward, L. and Howarth, J. (2006). Finding the right support? A review of the issues and positive practice when supporting parents with learning difficulties and their children. The Baring Foundation. London: United Kingdom. 124 pgs. http://www.baringfoundation.org.uk/Findingrightsupport.pdf

Wade, C., Llewellyn, G. and Matthews, J. (2008) Review of Parent Training Interventions for
Parents with Intellectual Disability. Journal of Applied Research in Intellectual Disabilities, 21, pp. 351–366. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1468-3148.2008.00449.x

Walker, C. and Smith, R. (2007). Presentation on Working together when parents have learning disabilities. Presented at the Working Together with Parents Network 21st June 2007: Bristol United Kingdom.Available at: http://www.bristol.ac.uk/wtwpn/resources/fwa.pdf

Wedgwood, Collings, S., Spencer, M., & Hindmarsh, G. (2021). Mother of a problem! Are the Needs of Mothers with Intellectual Disability Being Addressed in the NDIS Era? Journal of Social Inclusion12(2), 67–. https://doi.org/10.36251/josi.226. Available for download at: https://rccf-parenting-disability.sydney.edu.au/wp-content/uploads/2022/06/Wedgwood-Collings-Spencer-Hindmarsh-2021-copy87.pdf