Dec 17

Supporting people who need care and support to have meaningful relationships: new guidance

Posted on Monday 4th December 2017

Everyone has the right to have personal relationships including people with learning disabilities and other social care and health needs. 

Adult social care workers need to have the right values, skills and knowledge to support the people they work with to have positive personal relationships, and training is a vital part of this. 

The new guidance will help employers think about what workers need to know and understand about personal relationships, and how they can create a workforce development programme for their organisation. 

Relationships are an important part of everyone’s life and they can bring happiness, fulfilment and a greater sense of choice and control to the lives of people with learning disabilities. 

Malcolm Mitchell works at The Avenues Group who have introduced regular training around personal relationships. 

“Personal relationships are part of many peoples’ lives and everyone should have the opportunity to develop these relationships if they choose to," says Malcolm.​

"Providing support to people around personal relationships is a key part of a person-centred approach;  it’s about people making their own choices about what they want from life, and offering support which allows them to live out these choices safely.”  

Many people with learning disabilities still face barriers to building and developing personal relationships, including: 

  • a lack of accessible information for people with learning disabilities about personal relationships and sexuality
  • a lack of training and resources for families and care workers which results in a perceived fear around personal relationships 
  • practical barriers such as a lack of privacy, lack of support to meet people and unable to access transport. 

Good training will help care workers and families understand the balance between supporting people to have meaningful personal relationships and protecting them from abuse or exploitation. And this guidance is designed to help you find and/ or deliver high quality training.

You can download the guidance here