Managing Service Delivery Systems and the Role of Parents During their Children's Transitions

Document Type


Publication Date

Spring 2004

Publication Title

Journal of Rehabilitation


This article reports on a study investigating the transition-related experiences of 30 parents of young adults with disabilities. Focus groups and in-depth interviews were conducted to examine parental experiences with transition planning including supports and barriers, as well as hopes and dreams for the future. Findings indicated challenges with service delivery systems that were perceived as inconsistent, complex, and unresponsive. Parents also experienced difficulty managing daily family obligations, limited system supports in rural locales, and fears for an uncertain service delivery future. As a result, parents held together the many systems and demands, and found themselves at the center of their young adult's transition planning process. The implications explore ways to facilitate and support the transfer of power and leadership from parents to their young adults during the transition planning years.