Public Care for People with Intellectual Disability in Denmark - Ideals, Policy and Practice

Mie Engen, Mette Rømer, Anthon Sand Jørgensen

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)
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Denmark, internationally known for its high level of welfare and solidarity with vulnerable groups, has been in the forefront promoting the ‘normalisation principle’ regarding people with intellectual disability (ID). Formulated in the 1950s by Niels Erik Bank-Mikkelsen to ensure people with ID have equal rights to live and participate in the community, social policy has since shifted toward individual rights, self-determination and active citizenship. However, these ideals and social policy goals have proved difficult to realise in practice. Drawing on two empirical studies of professional practice in Danish accommodation units for people with ID, this article investigates how care is practised vis-a-vis people with ID, who – for different reasons – depend on daily interaction with professionals for care, support or treatment. Finally, the article discusses current conditions for providing individualised care and support and how autonomy and active citizenship can be in opposition to empowerment through individual care and support.
Original languageEnglish
JournalScandinavian Journal of Disability Research
Issue number1
Pages (from-to)228-237
Number of pages10
Publication statusPublished - 11 Sept 2019


  • intellectual disability
  • care
  • disability
  • Intellectual disability
  • Social pedagogy
  • Re-institutionalisation
  • Practice
  • Individualised care


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