Cross sectional survey of access to social services by families of persons with intellectual disability (PIDs) in Imo State, Nigeria
This study was designed to ascertain the awareness, availability and utilization of social services by families of PID in Imo State, Nigeria. Survey was conducted with 1147 family members of PIDs aged 10 years and above (560 males and 587 females) sampled through snowballing, using semi-structured questionnaires from September to December, 2012. Six IDIs and Twenty-one FGD sessions with 160 study participants comprising adult male and female members of the communities were conducted. Results indicated that not all the families who were aware of the existence of social services utilized them. The distribution revealed that 8 (66.7%) of the 12 respondents who indicated awareness of the existence of social services utilized such services while 33.3% did not. The qualitative data attributed poor utilization to either ignorance of the existence of such facilities or distance and lack of financial resources to access them. Also ignorance on the usefulness of such facilities prevented families from utilizing available social facility. The study concluded that social services for PIDs in Imo State are grossly inadequate and inaccessible to families and recommended the need for social workers to be involved in policy development for effective planning of social services.