PASS 3 was used to evaluate 14 residential services for people with mental retardation. Residents had a broad range of abilities. Size of residences ranged from one to seven residents. PASS scores were generally associated with both resident's ability level and smaller size of living unit. Overall, the residences were shown to be well-located and reasonably home-like. However, residence personnel tended to lack organized means and competencies to promote resident development and experience. Administrative practices were also weak. Attention must be given to factors other than residence size, location, building characteristics, and staffing parameters when services are commissioned and when service contracts are specified and reviewed.

This research was funded by the Welsh Office and Department of Health. We are grateful to the administrators of the residences, their residents, and staff members for their collaboration and to the members of the various assessment teams. All gave freely of their time. We are grateful to Paul Williams for his comments on earlier drafts of this paper.

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