UBC Theses and Dissertations
Mentally retarded adults in the community: social policy and the normalization of services for deinstitutionalized adults Eni, Godwin Onuoha
The purpose of this study was to explore the nature and content of the social policy of "normalization" in community based services which have been used to meet the needs of deinstitutionalized mentally retarded adults. In the process it was hoped that data would be obtained to aid decision makers in planning community services for retarded adults. The study was directed to examine the relationship between the levels of normalization in services which had been provided for retarded adults who were discharged from the Provincial institution for mental retardation - Woodlands - under the medical administration of retardation services as well as after the assumption of same responsibility by the Ministry of Human Resources. These administrations represented the medical and the social systems of service delivery. "Normalization" had been adopted as "policy" soon after the transfer of responsibilities by the Ministries. Three areas of concern were examined: Levels of normalization of services; needs of subjects; and normalization as policy. These areas had been central to public discussion of retardation issues in British Columbia. In order to examine the three areas, normalization was defined in the Greater Vancouver Area of study using the explicit judgement of citizens and the implicit judgement of professionals. From their judgements, a criteria for measuring normalization was developed and used in scoring individual services according to the special features of those services. A total of seven service areas were scored: Residential, Social, Medical, Recreational, Educational, Psychological and Vocational. The needs of subjects were identified from institutional records and scored. Five service characteristics were further examined for normalization. These were the nature, type, name, location and degree of integration. An integrated framework for policy analysis as well as empirical results were then used to analyse findings. The study showed that community services were essentially deviant in orientation; that level of normalization were about the same for each five year period of study; that services were inadequate in meeting needs; that there was lack of coordination in delivery of services] and that "normalization" was a principle rather than a policy of the Provincial Government. Implications for policy development as well as areas for further research have been suggested.
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