Good support is dependent not on approaches or tools, but on their results, the observable benefits for the person we support. Experience has shown that when trying to judge how good support is, and what to do to improve it, the best understanding of the effectiveness of support comes from seeing these results across a series of linked levels.

This guide illustrates the order in which each aspect of good support develops and should be assessed, irrespective of the nature or complexity of circumstances and needs. It helps us identify where to start improving support.

Each level acts as the foundation for the next so the extent to which any level can be established and progressed depends on how securely the preceding levels are in place.

These steps include:

  • Structure: creating predictability and consistency
  • Communication: understanding and responding to a person’s communication skills and needs
  • Support for engagement: supporting engagement in meaningful activities, interactions and relationships
  • Positive approaches to challenging behaviour: understanding challenging behaviour as an expression of legitimate distress to which we must listen and respond
  • Support for relationships: improving a person’s quality of life through relationships with others
  • Aspirations: working together to avoid complacency and contribute towards the person’s rich and fulfilling life

Download the Foundations of Good Support