Abstract: BACKGROUND: ‘Family Centred Care’ (FCC) is a best practice approach for children's disability services and is supported by local and national policy in Ireland. To date, no studies have been published that have investigated its implementation in community-based, children's disability services in Ireland. This study aimed to determine to what extent service providers working in children's disability services in one region of the Health Service Executive in Ireland believe they use FCC practices and to explore the factors influencing the use of this approach. METHODS: A modified version of the Measures of Processes of Care for Services Providers (MPOC-SP) questionnaire was provided to 69 service providers representing a range of disciplines. Mean scores for the MPOC-SP domains were analysed and compared to results of 6 additional questions. RESULTS: 72% staff returned questionnaires (n = 49) with 69% reporting that FCC practices are important. Staff report that they practice behaviours in the domain ‘treating people respectfully’ the most often and behaviours in the domain ‘providing general information’ the least often. Higher mean scores per domain were observed in staff within the School Aged Disability Teams, from individuals who had received FCC training and from clinical psychologists. A weak positive correlation was found between the use of FCC practices and the length of time individuals have been working in a children's disability service. CONCLUSIONS: This study suggests that a gap exists between the extent to which staff working in children's disability services report the perceived importance of FCC practices and the extent to which they report they implement it, and the extent to which they report it. This study also suggests that children's disability services would benefit from improving the provision of general information to service users and by providing FCC training to all service providers.
Keywords: Family Centred Care, children's disability service, service evaluation