Rethinking community care

By Maria Lyons

In the long battle to overcome the institutionalisation and segregation of people with learning disabilities, intentional communities like Camphill or L'Arche are often discounted as either being just another kind of institution, or as a peculiar kind of religious community. However, as Maria Lyons explores in this discussion paper, there is good evidence that there is much for all of us to learn from the Camphill movement and that, while perhaps not ordinary, these communities do offer a way of respecting human diversity and equality.

The discussion paper published by the Centre for Welfare Reform, summarises much of the research to date and asks questions about how we think about concepts like inclusion, community and love. Ultimately the paper calls for greater openness from researchers and advocates to the possibility of greater dialogue and learning.

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