New employment relationships between with learning disabilities and their paid supporters still to be explored in the literature

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Modernisation of social care and the move towards personalisation have opened up opportunities for people with learning disabilities to take control of their supports through using individual budgets to employ supports. This study set out to look at the impact of this policy change on people with learning disabilities and their families employing their own supports. The authors looked at research and other material relevant to these new and emerging employment relationships in a scoping review. They identified a small number of studies involving people with learning disabilities as respondents. Most however used family carers as proxy respondents.

They found that the issues covered in the studies included recruitment, administration, employment of family members, training needs, the nature and content of employment relationships and ending employment.

They discovered that employment these new employment relationships are yet to be explored in the literature and were by and large generally unobserved. The authors identify some specific points for family carers, for people with learning disabilities and for support workers.

Keeping it in the family? People with learning disabilities and families employing their own care and support workers Findings from a scoping review of the literature, Manthorpe J et al., in Journal of Intellectual Disabilities, 15, 3, 195-207

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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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