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Research project

Reclaiming social care: Adults with learning disabilities seizing opportunities in the shift from day services to community lives.

Project overview

The research examined innovations in social care developed by adults with learning disabilities and their supporters in four case-study areas in the UK – two in England and two in Scotland. With policy shifting towards personalisation and day centres closing former service-users, with families and allies, have been seeking to self-build their own forms of social care. Using creative and dialogic methods insights were gained into to lives undergoing changes on personal, interpersonal and community planes. Using a framework of the economic, personal and democratic dimensions of lifelong learning, we observed individuals and groups navigate processes of finding out, making contributions, developing new identities, and sharing connections. Their self-build innovations were often forms of peer-support including ‘friendship circles’ and pooling of personal budgets. The team developed a set of resource packs for emerging initiatives, on issues including funding, organisation and activities.


Lead researcher

Doctor Andrew Power

Associate Professor

Research interests

  • Support provision for disabled people including models of direct payments and personal budgets, peer-support and residential care.
  • Relational geographies of the voluntary sector particularly within the social care landscape

Connect with Andrew

Other researchers

Professor Melanie Nind BEd(Hons), PhD. FAcSS

Professor in Education

Research interests

  • inclusive research
  • learning disability

Connect with Melanie

Collaborating research institutes, centres and groups

Research outputs

Alex Kaley,
John Paul Donnelly,
Sally Humphrey,
Steven Reilly,
Hannah Macpherson,
Edward Hall,
Andrew Power,
& Lisa Donnelly
, 2021 , British Journal of Learning Disabilities
Type: article
Andrew Power,
Ed Hall,
Hannah Macpherson,
Alexandra Kaley,
& Abigail, Elizabeth Croydon
, 2020
Type: report
Alex Kaley,
& Edward Hall
, 2020
Type: bookChapter
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