Emotional support for lone mothers following diagnosis of additional needs in their child
From a feminist perspective this article explores emotional support for lone mothers following diagnosis of additional needs in their child; this is in terms of previous and contemporary emotional support from informal and formal sources. Although a small sample, the pilot study findings illustrate that respondents received no formal, organised emotional support from social care and health professionals and have a continuous struggle to obtain services. None of them have received a carer's assessment or have a designated key worker, and all had to seek information relating to their child's additional needs and services themselves. The surviving fathers abrogate all responsibility for their children and all members of the paternal families are no source of support whatsoever. Valuable emotional support is provided by some members of the respondents' families and not from others. A number of friends terminated friendships following diagnosis, whilst others provide invaluable support. All respondents desired organised, formal, emotional support but had a preference for this to be provided by individuals who have personal experience of their situation, such as via trained volunteer befrienders, who also have children with additional needs.