The Foundations of Good Support is a step by step guide to assessing the quality of support being provided for people with learning disabilities and/or autism, and identifying what might need changing in order to improve it.

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.

Good support provides:

1. Structure: creating predictability and consistency

2. Communication: understanding and responding to a person’s communication skills and needs

3. Support for engagement: supporting engagement in meaningful activities, interactions and relationships

4. Positive approaches to behaviour that challenges: understanding behaviour that challenges as an expression of legitimate distress to which we must listen and respond

5. Support for relationships: improving a person’s quality of life through relationships with others

6. Aspirations: working together to avoid complacency and contribute towards the person’s rich and fulfilling life.

This sequence of steps illustrates the order in which each aspect of good support develops and the order it should be assessed, irrespective of the nature or complexity of circumstances and needs. It helps us identify where to start improving support. You can read more in our booklet “Foundations of Good Support”.

Download the Foundations of Good Support

The Observation and Assessment Tool includes real life indicators of the extent to which each level of the foundations is, or is not, in place.

Download the Observation and Assessment Tool

More resources coming soon

Check back to see more. In future months we will be adding new and revised resources to these pages as we focus, in turn, on Structure, Communication, Support for Engagement, Positive approaches to behaviour that challenges, Support for Relationships and Aspirations.