Knowing, being or doing?: A comparative study on human service professionals’ perceptions about quality in day-to-day encounters with clients with intellectual disabilities
2016 (English)In: Journal of Intellectual Disabilities, ISSN 1744-6295, E-ISSN 1744-6309Article in journal (Refereed) Submitted
How public organizations (and its professionals) respond to people with intellectual disabilities is an important aspect of quality in welfare services. The aim in the article is to a) analyse how human service professionals define quality in their behaviour and encounters with people with intellectual disabilities and b) compare organisational differences in responses and experiences. Consequently, we draw attention to the question of how perceptions about quality in professional encounters may be viewed as culture-specific phenomena and shaped by the organisational context. To probe the semantic content and structure of the answers, and to make comparisons on an organisational level, professionals from schools, social services and healthcare were invited to participate in this study. A total of 421 respondents answered our web based questionnaire. The results revealed four themes to describe human service professionals’ perceptions on quality in encounters with people with intellectual disabilities: personal attributes, pertinent knowledge, professional actions and ideological awareness. Findings also indicate apparent organisational differences, both quantitatively (frequency) and qualitatively (content). It is believed that the analytical framework presented in this article holds the potential to further scrutinise how and with what social consequences quality in professional encounters is addressed in different institutional contexts offering services to people with intellectual disabilities. Moreover, we also believe that the introduced research perspectives make it possible to identify how organisational context influences the lived experiences among people with intellectual disabilities. In all, our article suggest some important key areas for future research on human service organisations and intellectual disability.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Human service organizations, intellectual disabilities, quality, professional encounters
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-121268OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-121268DiVA: diva2:931753