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Investing in advocacy interventions for parents with learning disabilities: what is the economic argument?

Bauer, Annette ORCID: 0000-0001-5156-1631, Wistow, Gerald, Dixon, Josie ORCID: 0000-0003-4772-6450 and Knapp, Martin ORCID: 0000-0003-1427-0215 (2013) Investing in advocacy interventions for parents with learning disabilities: what is the economic argument? Discussion paper (2860). Personal Social Services Research Unit, Kent, UK.

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In the social care area, advocacy refers to an intervention that informs service users of their rights and choices and supports them in resolving issues that have a great impact on their lives. Research at PSSRU funded by the School for Social Care Research investigated some of the costs and outcomes of advocacy provided to parents with learning disabilities who were at risk of losing their children into care. Parents with learning disabilities are a group affected by multiple disadvantages and experience a higher risk of not receiving the support they need. In our research we explored some of the economic consequences of advocacy interventions for parents with learning disabilities. Our research is part of a larger study being carried out by the Personal Social Services Research Unit at LSE and funded by the School for Social Care Research. This wider study examines the economic case for a selected but diverse range of social care interventions that have previously been identified as, or accepted/argued to be effective in achieving well-being or other social care-related outcomes for adults. Partners who were actively involved in this research included Norah Fry Research Centre at Bristol University, Voiceability, Family Rights Group, Advocacy in Greenwich, Action for Advocacy and Dorset Advocacy. We employed a range of methods: first, we ran workshops with representatives of advocacy projects to assess the scope for gathering existing data; we then conducted a survey which asked project representatives to provide a range of outcome- and cost-relevant information from their case records and some additional information about characteristics of projects and resources that went into running them; third, we searched the literature for the unit costs of child safeguarding activities, care proceedings and provision as well as for economic evidence on outcomes for parents and their children; finally, we used simple decision modelling techniques to combine the different data sets. The analysis identified the costs of the advocacy intervention and the value of the potential cost savings and benefits associated with outcomes linked to advocacy. We present findings with some threshold values which reflect the number of good practice cases (similar to the ones we looked at) required on the caseload of an advocacy project in order to offset costs.

Item Type: Monograph (Discussion Paper)
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2013 The Authors
Divisions: Social Policy
Personal Social Services Research Unit
LSE Health
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HQ The family. Marriage. Woman
Date Deposited: 16 Jul 2013 15:07
Last Modified: 15 Sep 2023 23:29

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