Work-Life Integration for Families with Children & Youth with Disabilities

    Family members face significant uncertainties as they endeavor to combine the responsibilities of employment with the parenting and care needs of their children and youth with disabilities. How can they fulfill the demands of their work-role and feel confident that their younger children are in a nurturing care environment and that their older children are succeeding academically and socially at school? Will they be able to respond to their children's health crises during work hours without their supervisors and co-workers labeling them as undependable and risking termination from the job? Can they effectively parent children and youth with challenges and meet additional family responsibilities when workplace stress is high, work hours unmanageable, and family supports unpredictable?

    The primary aim of the Work-Life Integration Project is to improve the extent to which families of children and adolescents with disabilities, including serious emotional disorders have awareness of and access to supports that promote their participation in the workplace while permitting them to take part in family and community life and roles. This research and training effort has received support from 1994-2010 through the National Institute of Disability and Rehabilitation Research, and team members are part of the Work and Family Researchers Network.  Most recently, preparation of training materials has been supported by The Technical Assistance Network for Children’s Behavioral Health under contract between the University of Maryland and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. For products prior to 2010, please consult this site.

    Recent Tools/Products

    Rosenzweig, J. M., Malsch, A. M., Brennan, E. M., Sellmaier, C., Mills, K. L. & Stewart, L. M. (2015). Balancing work & family responsibilities: A guidebook for parent support providers. Portland, OR: Research and Training Center for Pathways to Positive Futures, Portland State University, and National Technical Assistance Center for Children’s Behavioral Health, University of Maryland.

    Rosenzweig, J. M., Stewart, L. M., Brennan, E. M., & Sellmaier, C. (2015). Balancing work & family responsibilities: A training for parent support providers, training script. Portland, OR: Research and Training Center for Pathways to Positive Futures, Portland State University, and National Technical Assistance Center for Children’s Behavioral Health, University of Maryland.

    Rosenzweig, J. M., Stewart, L. M., Brennan, E. M., & Sellmaier, C. Balancing work and family responsibilities: Parent support provider training [slides]. Portland, OR: Research and Training Center for Pathways to Positive Futures, Portland State University, and National Technical Assistance Center for Children’s Behavioral Health, University of Maryland.

    Rosenzweig, J. M. Workplace Support Resources Inventory for Parents of Children/Youth with Disabilities. In J. M Rosenzweig et al. Balancing work & family responsibilities: A guidebook for parent support providers (pp. 83-85). Portland, OR: Research and Training Center for Pathways to Positive Futures, Portland State University, and National Technical Assistance Center for Children’s Behavioral Health, University of Maryland.

    Rosenzweig, J.M., Malsch, A.M., Brennan, E.M., Mills, K., & Stewart, L.M. (2010). Children and youth with disabilities: Their parents are your employees. Portland Oregon: Research and Training Center on Family Support and Children’s Mental Health, Portland State University.  Available here.

    Selected Recent Publications: 

    Brennan, E. M., Rosenzweig, J. M., Jivanjee, P., & Stewart, L. M. (2015). Challenges and supports for employed parents of children and youth with special needs. In T. D. Allen & L. T. Eby (Eds.), Oxford handbook of work and family. New York, NY: Oxford University Press. Available here.

    Brennan, E. M., Rosenzweig, J. M., Malsch, A. M., Stewart, L. M., Kjellstrand, J., & Coleman, D. (2013). Supports for working parents of children with disabilities: A cross-national comparison of inclusive policies. In V. Dujon, J. Dillard, & E. M. Brennan (Eds.), Social sustainability: A multilevel approach to social inclusion (pp. 183-208). New York: Routledge. Abstract here.

    Wankoff, B., Rosenzweig, J. M., & Brennan, E. M. (2011). Building layers of support at KPMG LLP: Training human resource professionals for collaborative conversations. Mental Health Works, (1/2), 21-25

    Rosenzweig, J. M., Malsch, A., Brennan, E. M, Huffstutter, K. J., Stewart, L. M., & Lieberman, L.A. (2011). Managing communication at the work-life boundary: Parents of children and youth with mental health disorders and human resource professionals. Best Practices in Mental Health: An International Journal, 7(1), 67-93.  
    Brennan, E. M., Rosenzweig, J. M., Malsch, A. M., & Stewart, L. M. (2011). Supports for Families of Children with Disabilities. Portland Oregon: Research and Training Center on Family Support and Children’s Mental Health, Portland State University.
     
    Rosenzweig, J. M., & Brennan, E. M. (2008). Work, life, and the mental health system of care:  A guide for professionals supporting families of children with emotional or behavioral disorders. Baltimore: Paul H. Brookes. Abstract available here.
     
    Brennan, E. M., Rosenzweig, J. M., & Malsch, A. (2008). Disabilities and work-family challenges: Parents having children with special health care needs. Encyclopedia entry, Sloan Work and Family Research Network, Boston College.
     
    Brennan, E. M. & Brannan, A. M. (2005). Participation in the paid labor force by caregivers of children with emotional and behavioral disorders. Journal of Emotional & Behavioral Disorders, 13(4), pp. 237-246.
     
    Rosenzweig, J. M., Brennan, E. M., & Ogilvie, A.M. (2002). Work-family fit: Voices of parents of children with emotional and behavioral disorders. Social Work, 47 (4), 415-424. Abstract here.
     
    Recent Presentations:
     
    Brennan, E. M., Brannan, A. M., Sellmaier, C., & Rosenzweig, J. M. (2015, May). Employed parents of children receiving mental health services: Caregiver strain and work-life integration. Paper presented at the Sixth International Community, Work and Family Conference, Malmö, Sweden.
     
    Brennan, E. M., Rosenzweig, J. M., Jivanjee, P., & Stewart, L. M. (2014, June). Challenges and supports for employed parents of children and youth with special needs. Paper presented to a conference of the Work and Family Researchers Network. New York, NY.
     
    Brennan, E. M., Bumpus, S., Wells, C., & Rosenzweig, J. M. (2013, November). Supporting working parents of children and youth with mental health challenges. Paper presented to the Annual Conference of the National Federation of Families for Children’s Mental Health. Washington, DC.
     
    Balancing Work and Family When Parenting a Child with Mental Health Difficulties. Presented at the 26th Annual Children's Mental Health Research & Policy Conference in Tampa, FL, March 5, 2013.
     
    A University-Corporate Partnership: Improving Workplace Supports for Employed Parents of Children with Disabilities. Presented at the Work and Family Researchers Network Conference in New York City, NY, June 16, 2012.
     
    Factors Predicting Difficulty Combining Work and Family Responsibilities for Mothers Raising Children with ADHD. Presented at the Work and Family Researchers Network Conference in New York City, NY, June 16, 2012.
     
    Improving Work-Life Integration for Families of Children & Youth with Mental Health Disorders. Symposium: Parents of Children with Special Needs in the Workplace: New Knowledge, New Strategies. Presented at the Work and Family Researchers Network Conference in New York City, NY, June 16, 2012.
     
    Workplace Supports for Families of Children and Youth with Disabilities: Lessons from Human Resource Professionals and Employed Parents. Presented with OSEP Leadership Mega Conference: Collaboration to Achieve Success from Cradle to Career 2.0, via webcast, July 2011.
     
    Work-Life Integration Issues for Parents Raising Children with ADHD. Presented at Community, Work, and Family IV, in Tampere, Finland, May 2011.
     
    Resolving Work-Family Issues of Parents Raising Children with Disabilities: A Human Resource Training Intervention. Presented at Society for Social Work and Research, in Tampa, FL, January 2011.
     
    Work-Life Integration and the Path to Social Sustainability. Presented at Understanding Sustainability: Perspectives from the Humanities—The Second International Conference, in Portland, Oregon, May 2010. (References)