The Road Ahead – Literature review

Appendix A: The Road Ahead project

The Road Ahead project was a collaboration between the Norah Fry Research Centre (University of Bristol), North Somerset People First and the Home Farm Trust. The objectives of the project were to find out (a) what information young people with learning difficulties and their families want at transition; (b) what information about transition already existed for families and young people with learning difficulties. The project also aimed to provide information to the Social Care Institute of Excellence (who had commissioned the project) about the content and format of a potential website for young people and families about transition.

The review of the literature presented in this document involved a systematic search of databases (see Appendix B) and the initial production of a list of key themes derived from the selected literature. This list of themes was sent for comment to a range of commentators and organisations in the field of learning difficulties to check that it was comprehensive and to seek their views on the way that the material might feasibly be organised for the purposes of a website. Following their feedback, the full literature review was produced, the output being this report.

Running alongside the literature review was extensive consultation work with young people and families, as well as a review of existing resources about transition. The consultation work was conducted by North Somerset People First and the Home Farm Trust, with research input and training from Beth Tarleton (Norah Fry Research Centre). The research team consisted of six young people with learning difficulties (Mark Smith, Clare Twiselton, Tim Eden, Anna Meredith, Kath Sawyer, Jo Rawlings), their supporter (Sue Hogarth), and Robina Mallett (Home Farm Trust). Focus groups were conducted in four different locations in England and Wales. The research team talked with young people, family carers and staff/supporters about their information needs and experiences at transition. Qualitative data was collected and analysed. The review of existing resources was carried out by Debby Watson, Norah Fry Research Centre. The resources review covered packs, websites, projects and other material not included in the literature review. The research team of young people and their families were involved in reviewing this material for its usefulness and accessibility.