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6.5 OTHER HUMANITIES, Other social sciences

Publication Details

This dissertation was carried out as part of a honours undergraduate degree in Applied Social Studies


This dissertation will address the research question of “what are the challenges of promoting self advocacy for an individual with a learning disability in a residential setting”. This area is important as individuals in a residential setting should be empowered to speak up and make their own decisions. Key themes identified in the literature review as challenges for social care workers to encourage this process can be role uncertainty, professional conflicts, the person centred plan and the skills and components needed to facilitate this process.

Through qualitative research, a sample group of six participants from two different residential settings where chosen for semi structure interviews. It was found this self advocacy process was hindered through factors such as institutionalisation, funding, lack of staff and time constraints to name a few. Staff cannot fully implement the self advocacy process to empower individuals due to these factors and would welcome the concept of an outside advocate to assist with the self advocacy process.

It was identified these outside advocates can bring other challenges to the self advocacy process. Even though social care workers wish to have an outside advocate to lesson their workload, it can create dilemmas of role uncertainty with a smaller role or create continuation of the challenges experienced if staff are constantly involved.

Overall, it was identified that self advocacy will benefit the service user’s quality of life with correct implementation of the person centred plan. It is a process that should be offered to all with a learning disability with the correct support.