Individual support planning: perceptions and expectations of people with intellectual disabilities in the Netherlands

M. A. Herps*, W. H. E. Buntinx, L. M. G. Curfs

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Background According to Dutch jurisdiction, individual support plans (ISP) should register the mutual agreements between a person with intellectual disabilities (ID) and a professional service organisation with respect to the support that will be provided. In planning for support, active involvement of both parties is necessary. The current study focuses on the perceptions and experiences of Dutch persons with ID with respect to their involvement in their ISP. Method Data were gathered through semi-structured interviews with 61 people with mild to moderate ID. Participants were recruited in 23 Dutch service provider organisations. A systematic qualitative analysis was performed on the interview transcripts. Results Although persons with ID are present at their ISP meeting, active client involvement in developing, executing and evaluating the ISP is not common practice. Issues of accessibility and lack of control over the process and content of ISP hamper effective involvement of people with ID. Conclusions The study raises questions concerning ISP practices in the Netherlands. The question needs to be addressed as to how to facilitate active involvement of people with ID in planning for support. The results further suggest that support organisations perceive an ISP rather as a formal document to comply with bureaucratic rules than as an instrument of empowerment to enhance control of persons with ID over their own lives.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1027-1036
JournalJournal of Intellectual Disability Research
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2013


  • individual support planning
  • intellectual disabilities
  • interviews
  • service-user perspective


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