Barriers to family-centered care in early intervention


Social workers have become increasingly involved in providing family-centered services to families with infants and toddlers who have developmental delays. This study examined the perceptions of barriers to family-centered services of 22 family members and 20 services providers in one local services delivery system. A family-centered approach focuses on helping families cope with the challenges of having children with developmental delays, helping families work collaboratively with services providers, and supporting families as they make decisions about services. Families have experienced barriers related to aspects of the traditional Part C early intervention system and to providers outside the realm of traditional early intervention services and barriers related to individual personality characteristics. Participants suggested several strategies for empowering families to take a more active role on early intervention teams.

Publication Date


Journal Title

Social Work


Oxford University Press

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

doi: 10.1093/sw/49.2.301

Document Type



© 2004 National Association of Social Workers, Inc.