This article describes the methodological processes and the outcomes of an evaluation study concerning young people identified as having mild to moderate learning difficulties. They were resident in a community-based shared house being run by a voluntary sector organisation and were being prepared for, or had just commenced, independent living. The researchers wanted to ensure that the views of the young people were fully captured, that they were empowered by taking part in the process and subsequently felt more able to express their views about the services they receive. The particular needs of the young people, age 15-18, meant that a standardised qualitative research method might not have sufficiently engaged the young people. This article reports on how a structured play approach was used to ensure the active involvement of the young people in the study. Play was an effective means of ensuring that these participants consistently developed a shared understanding of meaning, including giving informed ethical consent. The young people are typically identified as being ‘hard to engage’ and this approach reflected the pace and style of their own communication. The complex issues raised both in the processes and outcomes are discussed, including ethical dilemmas for the researchers, arising from the play based interviews.
|Number of pages||11|
|Journal||British Journal of Play Therapy|
|Publication status||Published - 2012|
- Structured play
- learning disability
- care leavers