Date of Award

Spring 2019

Document Type

Poster Session

Department

Social Work

Advisor

Rachel Casey PhD, MSW

Keywords

mental health, children, caregivers

Abstract

Children are impacted by their relationships with caregivers. The objective of this research was to develop awareness of the impact on children being cared for by caregivers with mental health issues by examining the experiences of individuals who had a caregiver with severe and persistent mental health issues during childhood. Researchers also gained insight on how social workers can be more supportive to children in these circumstances. The researchers conducted interviews with five participants, the recordings of which were then transcribed and coded to identify themes. Prevalent themes include critiques of available services, resiliency and challenges of family members as improved awareness of the significance of interpersonal relationships. For participants, compassion and tolerance have flourished since childhood, as well as a desire to help those in need. This research aims to inform and improve current services to children in the care of individuals struggling with severe or persistent mental health symptoms and improve both family and individual functioning. The research also aims to destigmatize the labeling of caregivers with mental health symptoms and improve the service delivery and professional parameters associated with working with children under the care of caregivers with mental health.

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