Satisfaction with social care: The experiences of people from Chinese backgrounds with physical disabilities
Yeung, Yuet Wah
The satisfaction of social care among service users provides an important indication of how services are performing. Although there is evidence to suggest that people from black and minority ethnic communities experience less satisfaction with social care than majority groups, there is little literature which focuses specifically on people from Chinese backgrounds in England. This article provides an opportunity to hear the voices of people from Chinese backgrounds and their experiences of social care for a physical disability. Individual semi-structured interviews and focus groups were conducted in 2012 and 2013 respectively with people from Chinese backgrounds who lived in England, were aged between 18 and 70, and received social care for a physical disability. Interview and focus group transcripts were analysed using a thematic approach. The findings show that language difference created a structural barrier for most participants to negotiating access to and navigating through social care. Language difference and the cultural expectation that families should look after their own were main factors that explained their late utilisation of social care. Because of limited social support, many families struggled to meet the long-term care needs of their relative with a physical disability and hence initially welcome the input of social care. However, many found that social care could not adequately meet their needs but did not feel that they had the right to voice their dissatisfaction. They would either stop using social care services or become more reliant on their family for support. Chinese welfare organisations play a crucial role to meet the cultural and linguistic needs of people from Chinese backgrounds. Closer collaboration between local authorities and Chinese welfare organisations is needed to enable an effective use of social care and community resources to meet the needs of people from Chinese backgrounds with physical disabilities.