The Role of Parents in Early Intervention Implications for Social Work

Early Intervention: Article Summary
The article was written by Gerald Mahoney and Bridgette Wiggers to
address the significance of the parents’ intervention in the early
development of their children as well as their social well-being. The
author begins by defining early intervention as a set of services
offered to children who are below the age of six years, but with social
emotional problems. The concept of early intervention is based on the
notion that early stages of a child’s development (below five years)
present an opportunity to either reverse of change prevent developmental
challenges. This provides a developmental stimulation that addresses the
child’s specific needs (Mahoney & Wiggers, 2007).
Intervention programs that are designed for children below the age of
three years aim at providing social support information about
children’s development, and service coordination. This is done to
reduce stress in parents and enable them to address the special needs of
their children. However, there are other intervention services
(including therapeutic services and class-based interventions) that
require a direct interaction between professional and the child. The
author suggests some reasons for parents’ involvement in early child
development. These include the frequent interaction between parents and
children provides an opportunity for them to learn in daily routine
activities and influence children learning compared to other sources of
learning such as the preschool program (Mahoney & Wiggers, 2007).
The author presents some factors that reduce parents’ intervention in
the early development of their children. Many social workers perceive
that the skills they provide to children surpass what they learn from
their parents, thus underestimating the significance of parents’
involvement. This category of professionals assumes that parents’
intervention may frustrate their own efforts in support the child. Some
cost sensitive professional perceives that parents’ intervention
program is more expensive compared to a classroom intervention model.
However, an effective professional social worker should enhance
parents’ participation in early intervention (Mahoney & Wiggers,
Mahoney, G. & Wiggers, B (2007). The role of parents in early
intervention: implications for social work. Children and Schools, 29
(1), 7-15.

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