The purpose of this paper is to outline the work of the Supported Loving Network from its origin in academic research to the practical development of a national Network supporting relationships for people with learning disabilities.
First, the need for the Network is established through a review of the research literature. The paper goes on to critically discuss the Network’s progress to date including its limitations and difficulties encountered, concluding by considering plans for future growth and development.
There is evidence that having a national Network is helpful in supporting intimate relationships for people with learning disabilities. The Network is having a positive impact on professionals who support people with learning disabilities by providing a space for discussion, inspiration and to share positive practice. However, an increase in resources would enable Supported Loving to have a wider reach and possibly a greater influence on organisations that provide social care to adults with learning disabilities.
The research indicates that people with learning disabilities are still less likely to have a loving relationship. The level of interest and engagement with Supported Loving implies that the Network is of value to people with learning disabilities and the professionals who work with them.
Bates, C. (2019), "Supported Loving – developing a national network to support positive intimate relationships for people with learning disabilities", Tizard Learning Disability Review, Vol. 24 No. 1, pp. 13-19. https://doi.org/10.1108/TLDR-06-2018-0017Download as .RIS
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