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ORIGINAL ARTICLE

Implementation of active support in Victoria, Australia: An exploratory study

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Pages 48-58 | Published online: 28 Jan 2013
 

Abstract

Background Active support is an effective intervention to support engagement of residents with intellectual disability in group homes. This survey explored resident characteristics of the people supported by organisations implementing active support, the provision of active support, its procedures and systems, and resident engagement in meaningful activity and relationships.

Method Information was collected through questionnaires and direct observation of 33 group homes from 6 organisations in Victoria, Australia, with a 5–10-year history of implementing active support.

Results Residents with lower support needs were engaged with little staff contact or assistance. Use of active support systems and structures was mixed. Only one organisation consistently provided good active support.

Conclusions Administrative systems and structures are not sufficient to change staff interaction and thus resident experience. Shared supported accommodation services may represent an inefficient use of resources for more able residents, as staff resources are not maximised to support for resident engagement.

Acknowledgements

We want to acknowledge the untimely death of Jim Mansell, a colleague who was a key contributor to this paper.

Thanks are due to the people with intellectual disability who took part in the study, the staff who supported them, the organisations providing services to them, and to the observers. The authors would also like to thank Louise Mountford, Sam Murray, Tim Clement, and Emma Bould for help with data collection and analysis.

Conflict of interest: None.

The project was partly funded by a grant from the Office of the Senior Practitioner, Department of Human Services, Victoria, and by contributions from industry partners: Department of Human Services Eastern Region, Yooralla, annecto, Golden City Support Services, St John of God Accord, and Jewish Care.

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