From NDS Newsletter – Group homes for people with PIMD

I’ve grabbed the following from an NDS newsletter. I think it is only for Victorian group homes.

Do you know of any great group homes for people with intellectual disability and high support needs?

The ‘culture’ of group homes has long been recognised as being important in realising a good ‘quality of life’ for people with intellectual disabilities, but has been little researched.

The School of Social Work and Social Policy at La Trobe University and the Tizard Centre in the United Kingdom have been awarded funding from the Australian Research Council to learn about the ‘culture’ of highly performing group homes for people with high support needs. We want to understand what the staff culture in good group homes looks like, how it emerges, how it changes over time and what supports it. Our findings will help to inform organisational development, policy and practice in group homes.

The project brings together key researchers in this field, Professor Jim Mansell, Professor Chris Bigby, Dr Julie Beadle – Brown, Dr Marie Knox and Dr Tim Clement. Together we have much experience in investigating quality of life in group homes.

Do you know a group home for people with severe and profound intellectual disabilities that you regard as being one of the best of its kind? You may work in such a setting or know one that you consider to be a flagship service.

If you are able to recommend such a service in the broadest terms,( i.e. without breaching confidentially) that might be invited to participate in this research, please contact Professor Christine Bigby, phone: (03) 9479 1016 or email: c.bigby@latrobe.edu.au. Alternatively, you could bring this newsletter item to the attention of a manager in the relevant organisation.

Learning from mistakes abroad


Toward the end of last year Beverly Dawkins published the following article: Dawkins, B. (2009). Valuing Tom: will Valuing People Now change the lives of people with profound and multiple learning disabilities? Tizard Learning Disability Review, 14(4), 3-12.
It is a response to the UK Valuing People Now policy shift and its impact on people with PIMD in the UK. It highlights the many ways in which the current policy has let down people with PIMD:
– decreased access to day services
– poor planning
– continued discrimination in health context leading to uneccessary pain and, at times, death
– continued inadequate access to advocacy
– …
New initiatives attempting to improve the lives of people with PIMD in the UK are highlighted: Emerson’s demographic study, Mencap’s various studies…
Although this is based in the UK, I believe this is highly relevent in the Australian context, both in terms of current and future issues.