Pub. date: 2005 | Online Pub. Date: September 15, 2007 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412950565 | Print ISBN: 9780761928201 | Online ISBN: 9781412950565| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Deborah Dokken & Susan Weiner
Families'/parents' (F/P) advocacy on behalf of their children has emerged in the past 40 years as an organized force to obtain care and services for children, especially for those with special needs. Along with the self-help movement in the 1960s and 1970s, individuals sharing similar social or medical concerns formed groups to provide mutual support, share medical and practical information, and act as an identifiable advocacy force for change. This entry provides a brief overview of the history of F/P advocacy, the various forms in which F/P organizations advocate for children and families, and F/P resources. Families of children with special health care needs (SHCNs), that is, children who have or are at increased risk for “chronic physical, developmental, behavioral, or emotional conditions and also require health and related services of a type or amount beyond that required by children generally” (Szilagyi, 2003, p. 137), have been leaders in organizing ...