Parents with Intellectual Disabilities

About This Program

Target Population: Child welfare case workers, case aides, life skills workers, and professionals from collateral agencies; foster parents may attend

Program Overview

This training is part of a more comprehensive training program that focuses on the intersection of intellectual disabilities and child protection issues. This one-day training focuses on assisting professionals in making reasonable accommodations for parents with intellectual disabilities. It emphasizes the learning style and needs of parents with limitations with executive functioning and offers teaching and intervention strategies. It recognizes that many goals that typical parents can achieve are overwhelming to parents with intellectual disabilities. Trainees practice how to teach sequential goal setting, tracking progress, identifying learning tasks, and other related teaching strategies.

Program Goals

The goals of Parents with Intellectual Disabilities are:

  • Define and describe the term “intellectual disabilities”
  • State the American Disabilities Act (ADA) legal rationale to require service providers to accommodate the learning style and needs of parents with intellectual disabilities
  • Identify the strengths and needs of parents with intellectual disabilities
  • Set goals that are realistic, reasonable, and fair
  • Break goals down into action steps and learning tasks that allow parents to demonstrate reasonable progress
  • Utilize appropriate cognitive behavioral strategies to assist the parent in meeting their goals

Essential Components

The essential components of Parents with Intellectual Disabilities include:

  • Led by a trainer who is an expert in the intersection of child welfare and intellectual disabilities
  • Focused on increasing the knowledge and skills of professionals working with parents with intellectual disabilities (ID) in the child welfare system
  • Designed to better equip professionals to write realistic and appropriate treatment plans and provide specialized in-home services that support families and address the issues families with ID face
  • Designed to better equip professionals to work with parents with ID
  • Designed to help professionals modify their skill set in their work environment in order to provide best practices with individuals and families with ID
  • Provided as a training on how to work with parents with intellectual disabilities:
    • Part One - Introduction to Parents with ID, Person First Language, A Fair Chance DVD, Life Experiences of Adults with ID
    • Part Two - Presenting Information Based on the Parent’s Learning Style and Needs
    • Part Three - Making Accommodations: Americans with Disabilities Act
    • Part Four - Case Planning, Relationships, Goals, Treatment Plans, Intervention Strategies and Success

Program Delivery

Recommended Intensity:

The information taught in this training is designed to be incorporated into the day-to-day work of the professional who works with families with a member with intellectual disabilities.

Recommended Duration:

The information taught in this training is designed to be incorporated into the day-to-day work of the professional who works with families with a member with intellectual disabilities.

Delivery Settings

This program is typically conducted in a(n):

  • Birth Family Home
  • Community Agency


This program does not include a homework component.

Resources Needed to Run Program

The typical resources for implementing the program are:

Participants of the training program receive a trainee manual and a DVD that they then should consult to help serve parents with intellectual disabilities.

Education and Training

Prerequisite/Minimum Provider Qualifications

Any paraprofessional or professional working with parents with ID would benefit from this training. Foster parents may attend and often find it helpful. There is a role for a caseworker, case aide/life skills worker, and sometimes the foster parent also helps model and teach the foster parent skills. There is no minimum education requirement for attending the training aside from what is required for the participant’s occupation.

Education and Training Resources

There is a manual that describes how to implement this program , and there is training available for this program.

Training Contact:
Training is obtained:

Trainings are presented onsite. To receive the training, the organization hosting the training will need a location with a training room, computer and DVD projector, trainer manual, trainee manual, and DVDs. A train-the-trainer session can also be arranged, if desired.

Number of days/hours:

1-day training for 6.5 hours total

Relevant Published, Peer-Reviewed Research

This program has been reviewed and it was determined that this program lacks the type of published, peer-reviewed research that meets the CEBC criteria for a scientific rating of 1 – 5. Therefore, the program has been given the classification of "NR - Not able to be Rated." It was reviewed because it was identified by the topic expert as a program being used in the field, or it is being marketed and/or used in California with children receiving services from child welfare or related systems and their parents/caregivers. Some programs that are not rated may have published, peer-reviewed research that does not meet the above stated criteria or may have eligible studies that have not yet been published in the peer-reviewed literature. For more information on the "NR - Not able to be Rated" classification, please see the Scientific Rating Scale.

Currently, there are no published, peer-reviewed research studies for Parents with Intellectual Disabilities.

Additional References

No reference materials are currently available for Parents with Intellectual Disabilities.

Contact Information

Virginia Cruz, MSW, DSW
Agency/Affiliation: The Social Work Department at Metropolitan State University of Denver
Phone: (303) 556-5362

Date Research Evidence Last Reviewed by CEBC: February 2014

Date Program Content Last Reviewed by Program Staff: March 2016

Date Program Originally Loaded onto CEBC: March 2014