Is a family-centred initiative a family-centred service? A case of a Conductive Education setting for children with cerebral palsy
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BACKGROUND: From the moment a child is diagnosed as having cerebral palsy, families have to cope on a daily basis with the multifaceted challenges of life-long disability management. Family-centred service is embraced as a 'best practice' model because of accumulating evidence supporting its positive influence on parents and children's outcomes. Nevertheless, research comparing parent and provider perspectives on family-centred practices of educational service providers in education settings is scarce. The aims of this study were to compare the extent to which parents and conductors experience the service delivery in Tsad Kadima, the Association for Conductive Education in Israel, as being family-centred, as well as comparing parents' perception of different educational settings as being family-centred. METHODS: Measurements of family-centeredness, the Israeli Measure of Processes of Care for families (MPOC-20) and for service providers (MPOC-SP), were administrated to 38 teacher conductors and 83 families of children with cerebral palsy (aged 1-14), from different conductive educational settings. RESULTS: Parents and conductors perceive Conductive Education service as being highly family centred in most domains, rating respectful and supportive care the highest and providing general information the lowest, thus indicating an area where improvements should be made. Parents perceived the service they receive to be more family-centred than conductor's perception about their own activities. In addition, educational setting (day care, pre-school and school) was found to be associated with parent's scores. CONCLUSIONS: The current study, which is the first to examine family-centred service provision in a conductive special education setting, from the perspectives of both parents and conductors, provides significant evidence for high-quality services in these settings.
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