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News from Lemos&Crane

'Quids In': building financial capability and confidence for adults with learning disabilities: new collaborative project

Lemos&Crane, the Camden Society and Quaker Social Action are developing 'Quids In' -  a new financial capability and resilience programme for adults with learning disabilities.

Research by Lemos&Crane and the Foundation for People with Learning Disabilities (Loneliness and Cruelty, 2012) highlighted the disturbing extent and range of targeted harassment and abuse towards people with learning disabilities. Our and others’ research identified finances as one area in which people with learning disabilities are often victim to exploitation. Cruelty of this kind not only has immediate financial and practical consequences but can have a devastating long-term impact on well-being, independence and an individual’s sense of personal safety and autonomy.

The Camden Society has many years’ experience of supporting adults with learning disabilities living independently in the community. The findings of the Loneliness and Cruelty research resonated with their day-to-day experience; in particular the vulnerability of people with moderate needs who receive little or no formal support. They report seeing a number of service users who need support in unraveling unsuitable phone contracts, for example, or who worry when their electricity key seems to swallow up all the money they put on and who find it hard to budget on more than a weekly basis. The Camden Society have also encountered instances of service users being drawn into financially exploitative transactions by people they thought were friends.

Guarding against financial abuse is just a part of the motivation for supporting adults with learning disabilities to improve their financial capability and resilience. Financial capability often brings with it a sense of independence and a greater sense of personal security. Being in a position to choose when to spend or save money - and to make considered purchases – is a meaningful aspect of adult life from which many vulnerable people can be excluded. With increased emphasis on personalisation in adult social care and more people now receiving personal budgets, building financial confidence, capability and independence for adults with learning disabilities is extremely timely.

Quaker Social Action’s award-winning Made of Money programme has been a leader of innovation and good practice in the financial capability and inclusion field. Made of Money supports families on low income to take control of their money and prevent financial problems becoming unmanageable. As well as practical advice around budgeting, saving, credit, and debt, the workshops recognise the other factors that influence financial behaviour.  

Adults with learning disabilities, particularly those who are isolated or lonely and living independently in the community will need a differently designed and delivered approach to building their financial capability and supporting their financial decision-making, alongside addressing the added challenge of combating widespread financial exploitation. To this end, Quaker Social Action, the Camden Society and Lemos&Crane are developing and piloting an adapted version of Made of Money - 'Quids In' -  for people with learning disabilities. The 'Quids In' programme will focus on aspirations and the emotions behind financial behaviour - not just skills. Topics will include good friends and bad friends, financial aspirations, trust, peer support and resilience, for example. Using quantitative and qualitative action research techniques, evaluation will be embedded in the development of the project and resulting resources, which will then be widely disseminated. Lemos&Crane will evaluate the methodology and the outcomes of the pilot and are working closely with Quaker Social Action and the Camden Society to develop and test the resources and the embedded evaluation aspect of the project.

'Quids In' aims to support adults with learning disabilities to develop financial resilience, to protect themselves against financial exploitation and to experience the positive long-term effects of financial capability - a strengthened personal sense of independence, security and well-being.

The Quids In project is supported by Pears Foundation. For more information on the project, please email

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