One of the key findings of the early research into community services for people with learning disabilities who had lived in long stay institutions, was that the quality of first line management was one of the main factors affecting outcomes.
This Australian study set out to look at the work of front-line managers in supported accommodation to see whether this key role continues, and to explore in more detail, the nature of their work.
A previous study in Minnesota produced a job analysis suggesting there were 142 competencies required of effective front-line managers and the researchers used this as a template for looking at the work of front line managers in equivalent positions in Victoria, Australia.
They used the competencies in the Minnesota study as the basis of a semi-structured interview and carried this out with a sample of 16 high-performing house supervisors and 5 more senior managers.
They found that 92% of the original competences were retained, despite the fact that there had been changes in language and specific terminology reflecting the different local context.
They suggest their study supports the idea that the front-line manager’s job is
underpinned by core competencies and that the role merits further study.
Competencies of front-line managers in supported accommodation: Issues for practice and future research, Clement T & Bigby C in Journal of Intellectual and Developmental Disability, 37, 2 , 131-140