8 year study identifies predictors of people with learning disabilities moving from family home


This longitudinal study followed a cohort of nearly 11,000 people with learning disabilities over a period of 8 years. The researchers were looking at issues relating to those people who had moved from family care and those who had remained.

The majority of those followed , 85%, continued to live with their families. For 67%, there were no plans for a future move as this was not deemed necessary.

The researchers were concerned with identifying the predictors of moving and found the two main predictors were that a need had been previously recorded and that the family had used respite services during the 8 years

Interestingly, the study found that only a quarter of those people who had been identified as needing to move had done so in the 8 year period, and that for nearly two thirds of those who had moved, no prior indication of need had been recorded.

Moving From Family Care to Residential and Supported Accommodation: National, Longitudinal Study of People With Intellectual Disabilities McConkey, R et al., in American Journal on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities: July 2011, Vol. 116, No. 4, pp. 305-314.

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John Northfield

After qualifying as a social worker, John worked in community learning disability teams before getting involved in a number of long-stay hospital closure programmes, working to develop individual plans for people moving into their own homes. He worked for BILD, helping to develop the Quality Network and was editorial lead for the NHS electronic library learning disabilities specialist collection. This led him to found the Learning Disabilities Elf site with Andre Tomlin as a way of making the evidence accessible to practitioners in health and social care. Most recently he has worked as part of Mencap's national quality team and also been involved in a number of national website developments, including the General Medical Council's learning disabilities site.

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