Autism and learning disabilities: developing a relationship-centred approach for support workers in social care
AuthorsUrbistondo Cano, Francisco
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AbstractAdults labelled as ‘having autism and learning disabilities’ in England receive the support of the social care system through the assistance of paid staff called ‘care and support workers’ or ‘personal assistants’. The market offers different kinds of training for care staff, such as Active Support, Person-centered Thinking and Planning, Positive Behaviour Support (PBS), Low Arousal Approach, and the SPELL framework, amongst others. As a systemically-oriented Counselling Psychologist, in this inquiry I critically reflect on the main approaches available and invite a shift from what in social care is called ‘person-centred’, to what I call a ‘relationship centred approach’. Through a relational ethnographic and fiction-based approach this study portrays different learning experiences, working alongside care workers and service users in different contexts. A collection of fiction-based composite case studies illustrates the complexities of such work involving personal, professional, and socio-cultural perspectives. The examples portray common scenarios from practice which most care workers will recognise. I use a range of systemic and counselling psychology practice theories to discuss the examples. This inquiry contributes learning to the field of professional support for autistics with learning disabilities by inviting examination of personal and professional experiences, stimulating professional debate, and generating knowledge in relation to working alongside care workers and their clients from a dialogical, relational, and social constructionist stance.
CitationUrbistondo Cano, F. (2021) 'Autism and Learning Disabilities: Developing a Relationship-Centred Approach for Support Workers in Social Care'. Professional Doctorate thesis. University of Bedfordshire.
PublisherUniversity of Bedfordshire
TypeThesis or dissertation
DescriptionA thesis submitted to the University of Bedfordshire, in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Professional Doctorate.
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