This book traces the development of services for people with disabilities and discusses how much things have really changed for today's 'service users' since the days of asylums. It also assesses whether the policy of involvement, such as that outlined in Valuing People, is achievable in practice or simply places unrealistic burdens on professionals and service users.
Based on findings from original research and interviews, the author argues that involving people with learning disabilities in service planning is difficult to achieve successfully and is currently, to a large extent, tokenistic. This area of challenging practice and emotive debate is brought to life by the voices of service providers, carers and the service users themselves, and illustrates the realities of working with people with learning disabilities.
Planning for Life is valuable and informative for students of social work, social care and social policy, and will be enlightening reading for those working with adults with learning disabilities, in policy and in practice.
Table of Contents
1. The Historical and Social Context of Care to People with Learning Disabilities 2. The Case for Citizenship 3. Barriers to Communication 4. The Research Design and Qualitative Methodology 5. Strategies for Implementing Normalisation and Citizenship 6. The Authority's Interpretation of Government Strategies 7. Group Observation 8. Conclusion
Liam Concannon is Lecturer in Social Policy and Social Work at Royal Holloway, University of London. He has experience of working with people with learning disabilities and currently teaches modules on mental health and learning disabilities in social work practice.
'This text should be on the reading list of students who intend to work in this important field. It will help them to understand the historical and social contexts in which this specialised area of care has been developed and a qualitative research process that recognises the importance of taking consultation seriously.' - Community Practitioner
'I found the depth of historical content in the book insightful. In addition, the involvement of service users in the research study adds to the ongoing debates surrounding involvement. This book is informative and enlightening and I think its contents are appropriate for those individuals working with adults with learning disabilities, both in practice and at policy and management level.' - Carmel Doyle, School of Nursing and Midwifery, Trinity College Dublin, Ireland