Enabling Practice: An Investigation into the Support of Families with Children with Learning Disabilities

Summers, Neil and Jenkins, Christine (2001). Enabling Practice: An Investigation into the Support of Families with Children with Learning Disabilities. Journal of Learning Disabilities, 5(1) pp. 57–67.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1177/146900470100500109

Abstract

This study investigated the relationship between professional intervention and the effect of that intervention on families with children with learning disabilities. A survey was conducted with 60 families in receipt of support services in the South West of England. This survey sought to establish whether families who were supported by Portage workers scored higher on the Enabling Practice Scale (EPS) than those who were supported by other family workers, such as community nurses for people with learning disabilities. Additionally, the survey sought to capture data on the relationship between parents' perceptions of their child's abilities and EPS scores. The results suggest that there is little difference between parent perceptions of these two types of family support, and no significant relationship between parents' perceptions of their child's abilities and how this impacts on the EPS scores. Findings are discussed within the context of the working practices of family workers, changes in health, social and education policy, and the increasing influence of consumers and service users.

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