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Title: Experiences of working in residential care
Author: Andrews, Abbye
ISNI:       0000 0004 5993 3403
Awarding Body: Staffordshire and Keele Universities
Current Institution: Staffordshire University
Date of Award: 2016
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Government initiatives over the last fifteen years have emphasised a need to promote high standards within residential care for people with intellectual disabilities (ID). Emphasis has been placed on ensuring a competent workforce so as to promote high-quality support and prevent abuse. Clinical psychologists provide consultation and training to staff teams and have an important role to play in the care of people with ID. Despite the focus on competence, residential staff continue to have few qualifications and training opportunities. They are also poorly paid, which suggests that they are not valued as highly as other professions, despite doing a very demanding job. These issues pose the question of what has changed since government papers of the last decade and what issues remain. A literature review was completed to explore staff practice and factors that help and hinder competent working. Studies showed that staff faced daily dilemmas between policy and practice and that support from psychologists could be experienced as unhelpful. In order to ensure high-quality care for people with ID, it is essential that practice is informed by appropriate policy and theory. Since research was grounded in adult services, the empirical study sought to explore these issues further in a sample of ten staff members working with children with ID. Using semi-structured interviews and template analysis, the study aimed to identify whether or not these staff members experienced the same challenges with policy and theory and what support they wanted. It was found that very similar challenges were experienced when working with children. Participants provided further insight into these challenges and the support they needed. Findings are discussed in the context of how psychologists and policy-makers can be more useful. Following this, a reflective commentary is presented, offering reflections on the research process.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (D.Clin.Psy.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available