Evaluating an assertive outreach team for supporting clients who present behaviour that challenges


  • Karen McKenzie,

  • Marion Paterson


Accessible summary

  •  Some people with a learning disability have behaviours that are hard for services to cope with.
  •  This study looked at a team that tried to help these people to stay in their own homes instead of having to move to a different area.
  •  The study looked at the good things about the team and things that could be better.
  •  We found that the team helped the services to support people in a different way, so that there were fewer behaviours which were hard to manage.


This article evaluates an assertive outreach team which aimed to help support people with a learning disability who displayed challenging behaviour in their own environment. The service was evaluated using Maxwell’s Multi-dimensional Quality Evaluation Model (Maxwell 1984), which recognises that different stakeholders in a service are likely to focus on different indices of quality including effectiveness, efficiency, economy, equity, access to services, appropriateness and social acceptability. The main strengths of the team were staff skills and professionalism, whereas the most frequently cited weaknesses centred around issues of liaison, communication and the role and remit of the team.