Reducing Social Exclusion. Good Friends are hard to find?

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review


Background: The social inclusion of people with intellectual disabilities (ID) is fundamental to maintaining good mental health and presents a major challenge to services. As part of the Community Care: 12 Years On study, the size of 213 individuals’ social support networks were investigated.

Method: Individuals’ social support networks were mapped using a Social Network Guide and descriptive statistics generated.

Results: The average network size was 22 members (range 3 to 51). The mean density was 0.5. Only a third of members were unrelated to ID services. In general, the main providers of both emotional and practical support were staff, although these relationships were less likely to be described as reciprocal. Other people with ID were the second most frequent providers of all types of support. People in small group homes, hostels and supported accommodation were significantly more likely to report close and companionable relationships than those in residential and nursing homes, but they also reported a greater proportion of critical behaviour.

Conclusions: A clearer policy and practice focus on the desirability of a range of different social context from which to derive potentially supportive network members is required so that people do not remain segregated in one area of life.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages20
Publication statusPublished - 20 Jul 2006
EventSocial Policy Association National Conference: The state of welfare, past, present and future - University of Birmingham, Birmingham, UK United Kingdom
Duration: 18 Jul 200620 Jul 2006
Conference number: 39


ConferenceSocial Policy Association National Conference: The state of welfare, past, present and future
Country/TerritoryUK United Kingdom
Internet address


  • social networks
  • social exclusion


Dive into the research topics of 'Reducing Social Exclusion. Good Friends are hard to find?'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this