Journal Article

Parents Whose Children with Learning Disabilities and Challenging Behaviour Attend 52-week Residential Schools: Their Perceptions of Services Received and Expectations of the Future

Peter McGill, Alan Tennyson and Vivien Cooper

in The British Journal of Social Work

Published on behalf of British Association of Social Workers

Volume 36, issue 4, pages 597-616
Published in print June 2006 | ISSN: 0045-3102
Published online October 2005 | e-ISSN: 1468-263X | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/bjsw/bch297
Parents Whose Children with Learning Disabilities and Challenging Behaviour Attend 52-week Residential Schools: Their Perceptions of Services Received and Expectations of the Future

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This paper reports the findings of a survey of parents whose children attended 52-week residential schools. Seventy-three parents completed a postal questionnaire which asked questions about three main areas: support and services received prior to their child’s entry into residential education; perceptions of the quality of care and education provided by residential schools; and concerns for their child’s future care and welfare. Telephone interviews were conducted with 14 parents, to obtain additional information on the topics addressed by the questionnaire. Parents were critical of services and support received prior to their child’s entry into residential education and reported high rates of exclusion from local services. Residential schools were generally perceived as providing a good quality of service, though considerable concern was expressed about their geographical distance from the family home, and this had a significant impact on the frequency of visits. Parents expressed high levels of concern about the future care and support needs of their children. Further research is required to understand the relationship between the availability and quality of local services and the need for 52-week residential schools. The impact of distant residential education on parent–child relationships and on future demand for residential care is considered.

Keywords: Learning disabled children; residential schools; parental views; challenging behaviour

Journal Article.  8112 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Social Work

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