The complex role of social care services in supporting the development of sustainable identities: Insights from the experiences of British South Asian women with intellectual disabilities

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Abstract

Background and aims Carers and service users with intellectual disabilities from minority ethnic groups have typically been reported to be dissatisfied with the social care services they receive. However, service users themselves have rarely been asked directly about their experiences of social care. This paper aims to understand the meaning of social care services in the lives of South Asian women with intellectual disabilities, in the United Kingdom. Method and procedure 10 British South Asian women with mild-moderate intellectual disabilities were interviewed about their experiences of social care services. The transcripts were analysed using interpretative phenomenological analysis. Results The analysis produced three super-ordinate themes, which focus on how services facilitate the development of complex identities, how the participants explored their sense of being ‘stuck’ between cultures as they negotiated their journeys towards independence, and the triple disadvantage which they experienced as a consequence of the intersection between gender, ethnicity and disability. The participants were broadly satisfied with the role which services played in these domains, and appeared to find them valuable and helpful. Conclusions The results suggest that the participants successfully managed complex identity issues, such as acculturation processes, with the support of services. It may be helpful to give more explicit consideration to the positive role which good services can play in supporting people with intellectual disabilities in the development of their identities and goals, alongside the more traditionally ‘concrete’ objectives of such social care. Engagement with families in ‘positive risk-taking’ is likely to be an important component of success.

Details

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)74-84
Number of pages11
JournalResearch in Developmental Disabilities
Volume63
Early online date20 Feb 2017
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2017

Keywords

  • Culture, Intellectual disabilities, IPA, Learning disabilities, Qualitative, Social care services, South Asian women