A Review of Literature on Natural Community Supports

(04 Sep 2011)

This reviewed literature on the role of natural supports in facilitating independent living for people with disabilities.The focus of the review was on adults with physical, sensory, and intellectual disabilities; in effect, however, the principal focus is on those with intellectual disabilities, mainly those in contact with service providers, as this was the area most frequently covered in the literature. Scope - published after 1990 and more especially material published since 2001 (a) material published in the English language and relating to Ireland, UK, USA, Australia and Canada; (b) relevant material published by international bodies. The interventions examined include:
• support circles,
• peer based strategies,
• individual capacity building,
• befriending / community building approaches.

Risk management emerges as a key barrier to service staff promoting social inclusion or greater independence. Clear policies by disability organisations, culture change, and measuring and monitoring, facilitate the promotion of greater community engagement.

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