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Change over 12 years in residential provision for adult persons with intellectual disabilities in Ireland

Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to document the impact of major policy changes and reductions in government funding on residential provision for people with intellectual disabilities (ID) in Ireland. Design/methodology/approach: Ireland is unique in having a national database of people in receipt of services from specialist ID providers. Information on persons in residential settings from 2005 to 2016 was examined in terms of changes in the types of provision over time and broken down by age groups. Findings: From 2011 onwards, cuts in government funding coincided with a continuing reduction in the overall provision of residential accommodation for adults with ID. There was a parallel increase in the number of people living with family carers, especially persons aged 55 years and over. The greatest reduction was in residential centres which was in line with recent policy but this was not matched by an increase in alternative options, with fewer people aged 20-34 living in residential accommodation of any kind. Compared to Great Britain, Ireland has proportionately more residential places with fewer people living independently. Social implications: More Irish families have to continue caring for their adult relatives into their old age. Likewise, those resident in group homes and living independently are growing older which means there is an increased likelihood they will require additional support. Originality/value: This national data set is a valuable tool for monitoring changes in service provision over time and for determining the impact of government policy and funding decisions.

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Key Information

Type of Reference
Type of Work
Journal article
Emerald publishing Ltd
Publication Year
Issue Number
Journal Titles
Tizard Learning Disability Review
Volume Number
Start Page
End Page