Using personal goal setting to promote the social inclusion of people with intellectual disability living in supported accommodation

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BackgroundThe social exclusion of persons with intellectual disability is more marked in congregated than in individualised supported accommodation. Goal setting was used as a means of increasing individuals' choices and engaging support staff in personalised planning.MethodPeople living in four different housing and support options were invited to identify up to three ‘social inclusion’ goals they wanted to achieve in the coming months. Nine months later, a review was undertaken to see if their goals had been attained and also to identify what had helped or hindered individuals in doing this. The goal selection was then repeated and reviewed again after a further 9 months.ResultsThe most commonly chosen goals were around social activities with other people and over half the participants were reported to have attained at least one of their goals within 9 months, particularly those in supported living arrangements that had greater hours of individual staff support. In the second 9-month period, fewer people chose goals, although the same proportion as before were successful. The main reason given for goal attainment was the information and support provided by staff.ConclusionsGoal setting seems a suitable way of promoting social inclusion as it can be tailored to the needs and aspirations of individuals, although extra efforts may be needed to implement and sustain it with staff across all accommodation options.

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