Because families are very involved in supporting people with disabilities, it is important to expand research on family support to better understand their experiences across the life course and on from an ecological and sociocultural perspective. First we need to assess the level of research that has been conducted on family support and identify gaps in research. Thus, this project aims at developing a strategic research plan in the area of Family Support while engaging stakeholders (families of individuals with disabilities) in the research process, using participatory research method. Feedback from stakeholders’ will identify key elements of Family Support related research and form relevant research questions. This project has several phases:
- Need to Know Campaign: Engaged stakeholders in identifying important family support research topics. This phase has been conducted and a user friendly report is currently underway.
- Conduct literature reviews across disabilities and life course and using the ecological framework: We will be publishing a special issue in the Journal of Family Social Work in the fall of 2016 with the results of this work.
- List and prioritize research topics: Using information from the Need to Know campaign and the literature reviews, we will ask stakeholders to prioritize topics.
- Convene expert panel to develop strategic research plan: We will convene a meeting of family support researchers who will refine the topics into research questions and methods.
- Write strategic research plan: Our team will write a final strategic research plan report.