Supporting personal relationships

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

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.

Our 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. 

Download our practical guide

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 says:

“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

Families and care workers can’t make any decisions that go against that of an adult who accesses care and support, except where they lack capacity and this has been tested using the Mental Capacity Act.

However some people might need help and guidance in relation to their personal relationships, and all care workers need to understand how they can support people who need care and support, to have positive and informed personal relationships. 

Learning and development is important to ensure care workers know how to do this. 

We have lots of practical resources and guidance to ensure you and your staff have the right values, skills and knowledge to provide high quality care and support, including for people with 

We also have guidance to support you with safeguarding in your organisation.