• An ecological approach to seeking and utilising the views of young people with intellectual disabilities in transition planning

      Small, Neil A.; Raghavan, R.; Pawson, Nicole (2013)
      Transition planning using a person-centred approach has, in the main, failed to shape service provision. We offer an alternative based on an ecological understanding of human development linked to public health approaches that prioritise whole system planning. A total of 43 young people with intellectual disabilities, in Bradford, England, who were approaching transition from school or college were recruited to a qualitative study. Their ethnic breakdown was as follows: 16 white British, 24 Pakistani, 2 Bangladeshi and 1 Black African. Each young person was interviewed twice, at recruitment and a year later, to observe any changes in their social networks during transition. Interviews were undertaken with a semi-structured interview schedule and with the pictorial approach of Talking Mats. Both the networks the young people live within, and their sense of what the future might hold for them, are described and linked to Bronfenbrenner's ecological model of human development. The importance of the family and school is emphasised, as is the absence of engagement in leisure activities and work. Transition planning needs to start with mapping the systems individuals live within, areas of strength should be supported and parts of the system, which are not fit for purpose for these young people, should be prioritised for interventions.
    • Family carers' perspectives on post-school transition of young people with intellectual disabilities with special reference to ethnicity

      Raghavan, R.; Pawson, Nicole; Small, Neil A. (2013)
      School leavers with intellectual disabilities (ID) often face difficulties in making a smooth transition from school to college, employment or more broadly to adult life. The transition phase is traumatic for the young person with ID and their families as it often results in the loss of friendships, relationships and social networks. The aim of this study was to explore the family carers' views and experiences on transition from school to college or to adult life with special reference to ethnicity. Forty-three families (consisting of 16 White British, 24 Pakistani, 2 Bangladeshi and one Black African) were interviewed twice using a semi-structured interview schedule. The carers were interviewed twice, Time 1 (T1) and Time 2 (T2), T2 being a year later to observe any changes during transition. The findings indicate that although transition planning occurred it was relatively later in the young person's school life. Parents were often confused about the process and had limited information about future options for their son or daughter. All family carers regardless of ethnicity, reported lack of information about services and expressed a sense of being excluded. South Asian families experienced more problems related to language, information about services, culture and religion. The majority of families lacked knowledge and awareness of formal services and the transition process. Socio-economic status, high levels of unemployment and caring for a child with a disability accounted for similar family experiences, regardless of ethnic background. The three key areas relevant for ethnicity are interdependence, religion and assumptions by service providers.
    • A randomized controlled trial of a specialist liaison worker model for young people with intellectual disabilities with challenging behaviour and mental health needs.

      Raghavan, R.; Newell, Robert J.; Waseem, F.; Small, Neil A. (01/05/2009)
      Background Twenty six young people with intellectual disabilities and mental health needs from Pakistani and Bangladeshi communities were recruited as part of a bigger study to examine the effectiveness of a liaison worker in helping young people and their families access appropriate intellectual disabilities and mental health services. Method Twelve young people were randomly allocated to the treatment group, which had the help of the liaison worker, and 14 young people were allocated to the control group without the help of a liaison worker. Baseline measures were undertaken with all the young people and their carers. This was followed by a 9-month trial, consisting of the liaison worker helping the treatment group to get in touch with and take up appropriate services, mainly in the areas of psychiatric appointments, benefits advice, house adaptations, leisure facilities and support and care for the young person. The control group participants did not have the access to the liaison worker and were accessing services using the normal routine. Assessments were carried out posttreatment to assess whether the use of a liaison worker had had any effect on outcomes for the two groups. Results Twelve young people completed the study in the treatment group and 14 in the control group. Participants allocated to the specialist liaison worker had statistically significantly more frequent contact with services and with more outcomes, than the control group, and significantly lower scores on the Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire (SDQ). Conclusion The use of specialist liaison services in ensuring adequate access to services for young people with learning disabilities and mental health needs from the South Asian community proved to be significant and effective compared with young people and their families accessing services on their own.