Active support is a way of providing assistance to people which focuses on making sure they are engaged and participating in all areas of life.

We have pioneered the active support approach, which is fundamental to the way we provide effective, person centred support.

How we provide active support

Engagement needs to be meaningful to have any value. If it leads to more opportunities to do other things and interact with other people, then engagement is meaningful.

Instead of doing things for people or to people, we work with them, so they can take part in everyday activities, regardless of their level of disability.

This technique helps to give the people we support more control, improve confidence and increase independence.

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The components of active support

There are four essential components that promote engagement in activities and relationships:

1. Every moment has potential: Utilising the activities that need to be done (such as housework, shopping, work or gardening) and those that are available to do (such as visiting friends or relatives, playing sport or adult education) to support people to be engaged throughout the day.

2. Little and often: Breaking activities and relationships down into a series of steps and identifying those parts the person can do for themselves, those they can do with help and those they need done for them. This enables people to be involved in ways that work for them, perhaps in small parts or over some time.

3. Graded assistance: Providing the right amount and type of support at the right time – too much and the person will be ‘over-supported’ and hindered in their independence; too little and they will fail.

4. Maximising choice and control: Looking for opportunities for the person to express their preferences when it comes to relationships and activities. Just as crucially, such expression must be listened to and acted upon in order to give the person as much control as possible.

You can learn more about active support in our free Active Support guide.

Learn more in our free Active Support guide

Learn more about Person Centred Support

Get support

If you would like to know more or are interested in the support we can provide to you or someone you know, please make a support enquiry.

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