Summary: Individuals with intellectual disabilities who might have been previously placed into segregated institutions now live independently in the community, supported by the necessary community care services. Nevertheless, social inclusion can be deemed successful only if they can positively interact with the various microsystems of the community. The disruption of social service provision due to the COVID-19 pandemic allowed us to evaluate other systems of support in the community. By adopting a bioecological perspective, qualitative methods are used to examine the interactions between people with intellectual disabilities and their social environment during the pandemic primarily based on focus group sessions with 17 social workers and 12 caregivers.
Findings: Three overarching themes are identified through a thematic analysis: (1) limited social ties with the community that could provide support; (2) professional support as the main source of assistance; and (3) limited resources on how to care for people with intellectual disabilities.
Applications: The results show that unilateral systems of support with limited participation of other systems lead people with intellectual disabilities to live segregated lives, even though they reside in the community. To fully realize the right of inclusion in society of all people with intellectual disabilities, further efforts are required to promote informal social care for people with intellectual disabilities. There is a need for a shared-care model that provides care in the community by the community through the establishment of neighborly relations and expansion of the social networks of people with intellectual disabilities.
Scopus Subject Areas
- Health(social science)
- Social Sciences (miscellaneous)
- Social work
- social inclusion
- social service
- community care