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November 18 , 2009

The Costs of Caring

Families with Disabled Children


First published in 1985, this book considers the financial consequences of parents and other relatives caring for severely disabled children at home. At the time of publication little reliable information was available on the costs incurred by ‘informal carers’, which this book set to rectify.

The volume interweaves hard statistical material about money with the detailed personal responses of parents. It examines the claim that disablement in a child reduces parents’ earnings while simultaneously creating an extra expense. The author compares the incomes and expenditure patterns of more than 500 families with disabled children and 700 control families of the time showing that the financial effects of disablement in a child can be far-reaching and pervasive.

This book discusses contemporary policy implications of these findings in a chapter dealing with the rational for compensating families with disabled children, and in the final chapter. Although the book was original published in 1985, it references issues that are still important today and, whilst its main concern is families with disabled children, it will also be useful to anyone caring for other kinds of dependent people, such as the elderly.

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