Skills for Care

Everyone has the right to have personal relationships including people who access care and support who might have a physical or learning disability.

The workforce needs to have the right values, skills and knowledge to support people they care for to have positive personal relationships and we've produced a range of resources help employers think about what workers need to know so they can create a development program for their organisation.



We’ve produced guidance in partnership with the Care Quality Commission on supporting people to have personal relationships.

PDF - 470KB
This 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. 


Watch our information video with Jim Thomas, Head of Workforce Capacity and Transformation, to find out more about this guide.

Duration 12mins 24secs


We commissioned Supported Loving to undertake a review of the learning materials available to best support people across all social care groups surrounding sexuality and intimate relationships.


PDF - 1.02MB
This report collates reviews of resources that are available to social care staff from a range of authors, disciplines, and formats.
Excel - 37KB
Use this spreadsheet to filter the leanring resources by social care group, type of resource, it’s purpose, availability and cost, as well as specific areas that it covers, such as internet safety and usage and person centred approached to sex and sexuality.

We’re currently working on providing a more accessible version of the database. If you're unable to use this excel document and need some support please contact  


Podcast - Sexual safety through empowerment publication

Skills for Care has taken part in a podcast covering sexual safety through empowerment publication with CQC.

Listen to the podcast


Why it's important to support people to have meaningful personal relationships? 


This updated guidance is very important. Personal relationships are a big part of people’s lives. This guidance and the work we are doing with CQC and partners will be so important for everyone.

Oonagh Smyth
CEO - Skills for Care


An open culture is crucial for allowing people to express sexuality and promote healthy sexual relationships in care, as well as helping to spot where there may be risks of abuse. One of the key things CQC found in our sexual safety guidance which we published earlier this year was that people must be empowered to speak about relationships and sexuality, in order for them to articulate their needs and feel valued. While we are aware that sexual incidents in services are not common, we know from speaking to those affected that the impact and consequences can be life-changing. It is not good enough to put this issue in a 'too difficult to discuss' box. It is particularly because these topics are sensitive and complex that they should not be ignored.

Kate Terroni
Chief Inspector of Adult Social Care - Care Quality Commission (CQC)


Personal relationships are part of many peoples’ lives and everyone should have the opportunity to develop these relationships if they choose to. 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.

Malcolm Mitchell
The Avenues Group