This article details the processes undertaken in a qualitative pilot study consisting of three interviews with support workers working in various forms of community-based care and support services for adults with intellectual (previously known as learning) disabilities. The study is to be followed by a more extensive project that will comprise the doctoral research. As such, the primary aim of the study was to assess the feasibility of the research design and adequacy of the methods in relation to the research question of how service delivery that is said to be premised upon certain types of political and rights discourses, and which are premised upon values of self-determination, civil rights and individual choice, may or may not impact on the nature of care and support that is provided within social care. This article details how access to the research site was achieved, along with the methodological and theoretical underpinnings of the processes of data collection and analyses. The analysis of the interviews revealed three main themes relating to the nature of service delivery: the promotion of economic and individual aspirations, administrative duties and tensions between empowerment and protection. All three themes are analysed and discussed in the context of the aforementioned reformed service delivery approach.