Open Access Journal

ISSN: 2183-2803

Article | Open Access

Deinstitutionalisation and ‘Home Turn’ Policies: Promoting or Hampering Social Inclusion?

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Abstract:  By the end of the twentieth century, caring for vulnerable adults in the community had become a pervasive policy trend in the Western world. In this article, this policy is described in two phases: deinstitutionalisation and the ‘home turn’ that are reflected from the perspective of social inclusion. Deinstitutionalisation has meant large institutions and asylums being replaced by group homes and communal‐supported housing units in the community. In the second and current phase, the ‘home turn’ emphasises well‐developed community care, home‐based services, everyone’s right to have their own home, and having a valued place in the community. In this semi‐systematic narrative review, the widely shared incentives, premises, and criticisms of deinstitutionalisation and the ‘home turn’ are mapped from the research literature. The special focus is on the possibilities of and hindrances to social inclusion in both policy phases. The research results are mixed and conflicting concerning social inclusion, but there exists a wide consensus that small housing units and supported housing with devoted workers enhance social inclusion better than big institutions. However, the prevalent view is that deinstitutionalisation has not fulfilled its promise of social inclusion, and although the ‘home turn’ is a step in the right direction, there are still problems in strengthening service users’ involvement and creating inclusive and accepting communities.

Keywords:  community care; deinstitutionalisation; home‐based services; narrative literature review; social inclusion



© Christopher Hall, Suvi Raitakari, Kirsi Juhila. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 license (, which permits any use, distribution, and reproduction of the work without further permission provided the original author(s) and source are credited.