Ethical Practice in Disability Services: Views of Young People and Staff

Sally Robinson, Anne Graham, Antonia Canosa, Tim Moore, Nicola Taylor, Tess Boyle

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In recent years there has been increased focus on supporting the safety and wellbeing of children and young people with disability. This paper reports on a study that asked children and young people with disability and adults who work with them about practices that support their wellbeing and safety, including barriers and enablers to ethical practice. We used the theory of practice architectures to unpack the practices. Findings point to a range of practices that both young people and adults regarded as important in creating the cultural conditions for young people to feel happy, safe and well, albeit placing different emphases on particular practices. Several tensions within and between these practices and the evolving requirements of disability and safeguarding policy environments were also apparent. While often not well articulated, the inherent tensions have implications when considering what children and young people need, particularly those with higher support needs. Findings suggest closer attention needs to be given to the intersection between individual and systemic factors in shaping ethical practice aimed at supporting the wellbeing and safety of children and young people with disability.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages21
JournalEthics and Social Welfare
Early online date15 May 2022
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 15 May 2022


  • children
  • Disability
  • ethical practice
  • relationships
  • safety


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