What Price Hospitality- a survey of volunteer views of payment for hosting adults with ID on short breaks

Author(s): Des Hanrahan

Department: St. John of God North East Services, Drumcar, Dunleer, Co. Louth.

Keywords: Respite, Shared care, Short breaks, Host families, Volunteer, Payment, Expenses, Intellectual Disability, Learning Difficulty, Adults.

Reported: Paper presented at The 5th. International Respite Care Conference, Evry, Ile de France, 28th. September 2006, 2007, available at, http://www.accueil-temporaire. or from the author. A French translation is also available.

Companion article: Hanrahan, D. (2006) ‘From Volunteer to Professional Respite: An Emerging Trend in Short-break Services’, Frontline of Learning Disability. Issue 68: 29-30.

(31 Jul 2009)
A paper (see below), based on this Irish survey, describes the views of hosts, in an Irish family-based short-break service for adults with intellectual disability, about payment for hosting. The paper is presented in order to provoke debate about the advantages and disadvantages of moving from a volunteer service to a professional service. In order to do this it introduces the concept of ‘motivation crowding theory’, and the possible consequences of professionalisation of crowding out intrinsic motivation. The paper also describes a recent Irish survey of volunteers who receive a small payment to cover expenses. The characteristics of these volunteer hosts are described. They are mainly older married couples, from rural communities who have reared their children. Most are employed outside the family home. The majority favour some payment, even if it is just expenses, but intrinsic motivation also appears to be prevalent. A level of reward, which is acceptable to hosts, is likely to increase output. For some this reward is non-monetary; others would consider becoming professional hosts. The paper warns that services should address the needs of both volunteer and professional hosts if they are to maximise this valuable resource.

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