National Council on Disability releases report about parents with disabilities and their children

The National Council on Disability (NCD) released a report entitled, Rocking the Cradle: Ensuring the Rights of Parents with Disabilities and their Children.  The report made 20 Findings and numerous recommendations.  Among the findings: removal rates of children where parents have an intellectual disability ranges from 40% – 80%; two-thirds of the states have dependency laws that allow the court to determine that a parent is unfit on the basis of the parent’s disability; every state allows the parent’s disability to be considered in determining the best interest of a child in custody considerations.  NCD reported that “people with disabilities are the only distinct group that struggles to maintain custody of its children.”  NCD recommended that states amend their laws to remove discriminatory language and that all professionals involved in Family Court matters receive training about parents with disabilities.  Finally, the report highlights programs that provide parenting support to people with disabilities to prevent unnecessary removal of children from their families.