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A New Way Home is published

A New Way Home is a guide to help people with disabilities, with the support of their families and professionals, leave institutional care and establish lives of citizenship in their communities.

People with disabilities, particularly people with more complex needs or people with mental health problems, too often find themselves stripped of their status as citizens. They are excluded, placed in institutional hospitals, care homes or special unit, cut off from their family, friends and community. This is not just an abuse of human rights, it is a serious loss to all of us. We all belong and we must work together to ensure that everyone gets the chance to a life of meaning, freedom and contribution.

The guide is necessary because, while there is public recognition of the failure of institutional services, particularly private hospitals and the units that are called Assessment and Treatment Units (ATUs) these services continue. Partly this is because many so-called community services are far too institutional and inflexible and people are passed from failed service to failed service until they end up hundreds of miles form home.

The better alternative - the new way home - is to do things right from the beginning:

  • Work according to human rights principles
  • Ensure authority and decision-making lies is with people and families
  • Plan for a life that truly makes sense to the individual - so they can thrive
  • Organise flexible support and housing so that it supports people's real aspirations
  • Pay attention to the important details that make all the difference

This guide has been published by the Centre for Welfare Reform as part of its contribution to the ongoing battle for justice fought by people with disabilities and their families. Frances Brown and John Dalrymple, the authors of this guide, have spent decades helping people to leave institutional care and to establish themselves as citizens within their own communities. The guide is realistic, practical and all based on tried and tested approaches that work.

The guide is published in association with Citizen Network. Citizen Network is the international movement to achieve citizenship for all. Citizen Network brings together all those around the world who want to overcome prejudice, poverty and powerlessness.

Dr Simon Duffy, Director of the Centre for Welfare Reform said:

It is shameful that institutional care remains. It is unnecessary, harmful to people and families and it represents our ongoing failure to acknowledge and support the giftedness and diversity of all human beings. Thankfully some people, like Frances and John, the authors of this Guide, have worked for many years to help people escape the institutions and to start living great lives - as equal citizens and contributing members of the community. We need to raise the standard of deinstitutionalisation and equip people, families and professionals with the tools to esnure that nobody has to languish there ever again.  

If you are interested in these topics and believe that there may be much better ways to provide help and support for people and families then you may also want to check out these publications:

  • Progress on Personalised Support - an international overview of this approach
  • Individual Service Funds - research on the innovative work of Inclusion Glasgow
  • Personalised Support - a description of the work of Partners for Inclusion

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