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Journal article

Inclusion or outcomes? Tensions in the involvement of people with learning disabilities in strategic planning

Authors:
FYSON Rachel, FOX Liz
Journal article citation:
Disability and Society, 29(2), 2014, pp.239-254.
Publisher:
Taylor and Francis,

Social inclusion is a key principle that underpins the provision of services for people with learning disabilities in England. Learning Disability Partnership Boards, which are responsible for local strategic planning of learning disability services, hold a particular role in promoting inclusion since they are required both to operate inclusively and to achieve inclusive outcomes. This study sought to explore the extent to which these ambitions for inclusion were being achieved. It consisted of three phases: a scoping exercise to elicit the views of key stakeholders; a postal survey of Partnership Boards (response rate 51%); and semi-structured interviews with Partnership Boards members in six local authorities. Findings suggest that Partnership Boards are struggling to fulfil their dual role, with tensions emerging between the desire to operate in fully inclusive ways and the ability to affect strategic change within local services. (Publisher abstract)

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Support for living?: the impact of the supporting people programme on housing and support for adults with learning disabilities

Authors:
FYSON Rachel, TARLETON Beth, WARD Linda
Publisher:
Policy Press
Publication year:
2007
Pagination:
68p., bibliog.
Place of publication:
Bristol

The Supporting People programme, which began on 1 April 2003, was designed to separate out the costs of bricks-and-mortar housing (which, where needed, would continue to be paid through Housing Benefit) from the costs of the support necessary to enable vulnerable adults to attain or maintain independent tenancies. For people with learning disabilities, this new funding mechanism appeared to offer a much-needed opportunity for some of the changes set out in the 2001 Valuing People White Paper to be made a reality. This research project set out to examine how local Supporting People teams were interpreting national guidelines in relation to the provision of housing-related support and to explore the impact that this was having on people with learning disabilities. It also hoped to discover the extent to which the Valuing People core aims – of promoting rights, choice, independence and control in the lives of people with learning disabilities – were being supported by this new programme

Journal article

Progress on participation?: self-advocate involvement in learning disability partnership boards

Authors:
FYSON Rachel, McBRIDE Gordon, MYERS Brian
Journal article citation:
Tizard Learning Disability Review, 9(3), July 2004, pp.27-36.
Publisher:
Emerald

Aimed to gather information about the objective and subjective experiences of self-advocates attending learning disability partnership boards, in order to promote effective practices. Findings show that although people with learning disabilities were present at meetings a variety of barriers limited their ability to participate actively. Problems included lack of financial and practical help as well as the limited availability of accessible information. There were, however, examples of good practice, and many self-advocates were pleased at how local authorities were beginning to implement effective partnership working practices. Ways of supporting self-advocates and others with learning disabilities to fulfil a truly representative, rather than merely symbolic, function at meetings are discussed.

Journal article

Forced marriage of people with learning disabilities: a human rights issue

Authors:
CLAWSON Rachael, FYSON Rachel
Journal article citation:
Disability and Society, 32(6), 2017, pp.810-830.
Publisher:
Taylor and Francis,

This paper reports some of the findings of an exploratory study which sought to better understand the demographics of forced marriage of people with learning disabilities and the contexts in which such marriages may occur. It was found that forced marriages of people with and without learning disabilities showed broad similarities in relation to ethnicity, some differences in terms of age and substantial differences in terms of gender. Men and women with learning disabilities are equally likely to be victims of forced marriage. The reasons for people with learning disabilities being forced to marry are most often associated with a desire on the part of families to secure permanent care, but can also be associated with cultural (mis)understandings of the nature of disability. These findings are contextualised by considering the relationship between forced marriage, human rights and learning disability. (Publisher abstract)

Journal article

A failing partnership

Author:
FYSON Rachel
Journal article citation:
Viewpoint, May 2008, pp.28-29.
Publisher:
Mencap/Gateway

The University of Nottingham has undertaken recent research to investigate the impact of Learning Disability Partnership Boards. Partnership Boards were intended to: provide a place where service users and carers are given a voice and also operate as strategic planning bodies. This article summarises key findings of the research which found that the effectiveness of Partnership Boards is mixed, and largely depends upon the commitment of individual members. The research was commissioned by Mencap on behalf of the Learning Disability Taskforce.

Journal article

Young people with learning disabilities who sexually harm others: the role of criminal justice within a multi-agency response

Author:
FYSON Rachel
Journal article citation:
British Journal of Learning Disabilities, 35(3), September 2007, pp.181-186.
Publisher:
Wiley-Blackwell

This paper outlines the key findings from a recent study of statutory service responses to young people with learning disabilities who show sexually inappropriate or abusive behaviours, with a particular focus on the involvement of criminal justice agencies. The study found that although inappropriate sexual behaviours were commonplace in special schools, and that serious acts of abuse including rape had sometimes occurred, education, welfare and criminal justice agencies struggled to work together effectively. In particular, staff often had difficulty in determining the point at which a sexually inappropriate behaviour warranted intervention. This problem was frequently compounded by a lack of appropriate therapeutic services. In many cases this meant that no intervention was made until the young person committed a sexual offence and the victim reported this to the police. As a consequence, young people with learning disabilities are being registered as sex offenders. The paper concludes by addressing some of the policy and practice implications of the study’s findings, particularly those which relate to criminal justice.

Journal article Full text available online for free

Arresting development

Author:
FYSON Rachel
Journal article citation:
Community Care, 11.08.05, 2005, pp.36-37.
Publisher:
Reed Business Information

Reports on research from the Ann Craft Trust into sexually inappropriate or abusive behaviour displayed by some young people with learning difficulties. The research took place across four English councils. It involved: a postal survey of all special schools; interviews in respect of every case over a 12-month period where social services and/or Youth Offending teams were working with young people aged 10-18 with a learning difficulty following and incident of sexually inappropriate, abusive or offending behaviour. It highlights the need for early intervention and the need for education and social services to identify the problem without labelling the child.

Journal article

Valuing people: what has it meant for people with profound and multiple disabilities?

Author:
FYSON Rachel
Journal article citation:
Focus, 42, May 2005, pp.8-12.
Publisher:
RNIB

Reports on research from the Norah Fry Research Centre at the University of Bristol which aimed to find out what had changes had occurred within learning disability services since the publication of the 'Valuing People' white paper. The researchers looked at what was written in local plans for services for people with learning difficulties; interviewed self advocates and family carers about their experiences of being involved in Learning Disability Partnership Boards; interviewed chairs of Partnership Boards and interviewed commissioners of learning disability services about the changes they were trying to make in their area.

Journal article

Human rights and social wrongs: issues in safeguarding adults with learning disabilities

Authors:
FYSON Rachel, KITSON Deborah
Journal article citation:
Practice: Social Work in Action, 22(5), December 2010, pp.309-320.
Publisher:
Taylor and Francis

From a human rights perspective, this article explores the levels of abuse and bullying of adults with learning disabilities in the UK. It quotes statistics from a decade of reports from Leonard Cheshire Disability, Mind, the Disability Rights Commission and Capability Scotland and Mencap and reproduces Articles 3 and 8 from the European Convention on Human Rights, active in the UK since 1998. In two sections addressing human rights, adult safeguarding and service responses, the size of the challenge is illustrated through a large, but not exhaustive, nationwide listing of murders and manslaughters of people with learning disabilities, between 2005 and 2010. The authors call these the ultimate consequence of society’s collective failure to uphold human rights of people with learning disabilities and claim three commonalities underpinning practice. Firstly, the promotion of independence and choice without adequate consideration of safeguarding; placement without regard for community dynamics; and the roles loneliness, companionship needs and social isolation, play in vulnerable adults likelihood of abuse, particularly in those with milder learning disabilities and lower support needs.

Journal article

Independence and learning disabilities: why we must also recognise vulnerability

Author:
FYSON Rachel
Journal article citation:
Journal of Adult Protection, 11(3), August 2009, pp.18-25.
Publisher:
Emerald

Services for adults with learning disabilities are currently based on the promotion of four key principles: rights, independence, choice and social inclusion.  The author argues that these principles are not a sufficient basis for developing balanced services and that there is a need for reappraisal of current approaches and a recognition that the promotion of independence needs to be balanced carefully against the duty of statutory services to ensure that vulnerable adults are adequately protected from abuse. It looks at difficulties including the pressure to promote independence because of potential cost savings, inequality of outcomes for service users and increased vulnerability to abuse, citing studies demonstrating how people with learning disabilities are subject to higher levels of abuse and bullying than other people and recent cases of abuse, and discussing the importance of safeguarding vulnerable adults.

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