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In the wilderness? Services for people with mild/borderline learning difficulties with/without autistic spectrum disorders or mental health needs at risk of offending or reoffending

Ahmed, Karen Ann (2005) In the wilderness? Services for people with mild/borderline learning difficulties with/without autistic spectrum disorders or mental health needs at risk of offending or reoffending. Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) thesis, University of Kent. (doi:10.22024/UniKent/01.02.86314) (KAR id:86314)

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Official URL:
https://doi.org/10.22024/UniKent/01.02.86314

Abstract

This thesis explores two ways in which people with mild/borderline learning difficulties (with or without autistic spectrum disorders or mental health needs) who are at risk of offending or reoffending are supported by health and social services - community based services and residential services. Existing literature on offending by people with learning difficulties and mental health needs is summarised and the response of the criminal justice systems to "mentally disordered offenders" is explored. The methodology of service evaluation is also reviewed. Study One reviews the effectiveness of a pilot multi-disciplinary team set up to meet the needs of people with mild/borderline learning difficulties, mental health needs and high functioning autistic disorders (in particular Asperger's syndrome) with offending/reoffending behaviour from the perspectives of mainstream professionals, team members, service users and carers. Study One concludes that the availability of flexible, person centred support services such as those provided by the team are fundamental to the prevention of offending behaviour and the development or maintenance of independent living skills for this group of people. Study Two explores the quality of support provided in out of borough residential placements, including a secure unit. Study Two concludes that, with the notable exception of the secure unit, attention to individualised person centred planning including behavioural programmes and the development of independent living skills is patchy. Links with placing authorities are not always robust and there is a lack of suitable community based provision and move-on accommodation. Organisational rules and routines appear to impose unacceptable restrictions on basic choices in everyday life. The thesis concludes that people with mild/borderline leaming difficulties (with or without autistic spectrum disorders or mental health needs) who are at risk of offending/reoffending can be better supported by a particular model of community based teams and key components of this service are described. These teams should be:

• Based upon principles of user empowerment, particularly in the management of risk

• User centred, flexible and responsive in their approach

• Based upon a whole team approach to providing a service so that an immediate response to someone does not depend on the service user's case worker being available

• Use a care programme approach and have a no closure policy

• Offer individually tailored expertise to meet peoples' needs, in particular access to a psychologist or challenging behaviour specialist

• Offer individually tailored practical support packages which enable both an increase in independent living skills and access to mainstream facilities, including employment

• Offer therapeutic input, particularly groups which enable people to deal with sexual relationships and anger management

Item Type: Thesis (Doctor of Philosophy (PhD))
DOI/Identification number: 10.22024/UniKent/01.02.86314
Additional information: This thesis has been digitised by EThOS, the British Library digitisation service, for purposes of preservation and dissemination. It was uploaded to KAR on 09 February 2021 in order to hold its content and record within University of Kent systems. It is available Open Access using a Creative Commons Attribution, Non-commercial, No Derivatives (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/) licence so that the thesis and its author, can benefit from opportunities for increased readership and citation. This was done in line with University of Kent policies (https://www.kent.ac.uk/is/strategy/docs/Kent%20Open%20Access%20policy.pdf). If you feel that your rights are compromised by open access to this thesis, or if you would like more information about its availability, please contact us at ResearchSupport@kent.ac.uk and we will seriously consider your claim under the terms of our Take-Down Policy (https://www.kent.ac.uk/is/regulations/library/kar-take-down-policy.html).
Subjects: H Social Sciences
Divisions: Divisions > Division for the Study of Law, Society and Social Justice > School of Social Policy, Sociology and Social Research > Tizard
SWORD Depositor: SWORD Copy
Depositing User: SWORD Copy
Date Deposited: 29 Oct 2019 16:50 UTC
Last Modified: 15 Dec 2021 15:05 UTC
Resource URI: https://kar.kent.ac.uk/id/eprint/86314 (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
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