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Parents with Intellectual Disabilities and their Children: An Australian Prevalence Study

Healthy Start is currently undertaking an analysis of large population-based survey and administrative data sets to determine the prevalence of parents with intellectual disabilities and their children in Australia, and to document their family, social and cultural circumstances and if possible, contact with the child protection system.

The researchers have identified survey data sources from Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), collaborated with the Telethon Institute on a proposal to extract and link administrative datasets from the Western Australia Data Linkage System, and worked with the Federal Department of Social Services (previously FaHCSIA) to access Centrelink administrative data. All of these are valuable sources of information about parents with intellectual disabilities and their children in Australia.

The first in a series of technical reports (see link to full report below) from this study was released in July 2014, detailing the processes used to estimate the prevalence of parents with intellectual disability in the Australian population, and describing their characteristics and living circumstances. Findings demonstrate that as a group, the approximately 17,000 parents with intellectual disability in Australia are significantly disadvantaged in employment and income compared to non-disabled parents and parents with other disabilities.

icn pdf Download the first technical report from this study (PDF)

The second technical report details the processes undertaken to estimate the number of parents with intellectual disability on social security payments in Australia and their characteristics. A total of 5,160 parents with intellectual disability on both the Disability Support Pension and the Family Tax Benefit were identified from the Centrelink dataset in June 2011. Compared with other Australian parents, parents with intellectual disability were more likely to be caring for a child with disability, more likely to be in public housing and more likely to live in the Northern territory.

icn pdf Download the second technical report from this study (PDF)

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The Parenting Research Centre acknowledges and respects the diverse Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people of this country and the Elders of the past, present and future.