People with an intellectual developmental disability (IDD) are entitled by law to services provided by the Division for the Care of People with an Intellectual Developmental Disability (the Division) at the Ministry of Social Affairs and Social Services )MSAS(. These services include residential programs, employment, daycare centers and social clubs. The Division is aware that some of the people it is obligated to serve do not utilize these services: an examination of 2011 administrative data in Haifa and the northern district revealed that a quarter of the adults diagnosed with IDD were not utilizing any of these services.
This study was initiated by the MSAS in order to identify and characterize the people who do not utilize the Division programs and about their needs for assistance. As part of the study, administrative data were analyzed, a survey was conducted of 91 family members serving as the main caregivers of people with IDD, and a focus group of social workers was held.
Muslims and people from cities and towns of a low socio-economic cluster are overrepresented among those not participating in programs.
The severity of an individual's IDD and level of mobility were not related to participation.
98% of the people who do not attend programs spend most of their time at home with no obvious activity; 82% had not left home for recreational or social activities in the previous month.
Many main caregivers were unaware of the existence of relevant programs and other services.
66% of the main caregivers said that their family member was in need of services; many would like to have less intensive services than those that exist and/or and home-based services.
69% of the main caregivers bore most or all of the burden of care by themselves, and many felt overburdened or financial hardship as a result.
The findings were presented to and discussed with the leadership of the Division. Discussion addressed ways to improve accessibility to existing services and to develop alternative flexible services in the community.
The study was initiated by the Research, Planning and Training Division in cooperation with the Division for the Care of People with an Intellectual Developmental Disability at the Ministry of Social Affairs and Social Services and financed with their assistance.