Here at Delrow, we’re currently rolling out Active Support training to all staff throughout the community, so we can provide the best support to all who live and visit.
What is 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.
Active Support is an approach that is fundamental to the provision of effective, person-centred support. It is a way of providing assistance to people that focuses on making sure that individuals are engaged and participating in all areas of their life. It enables staff to gain the skills needed to support people well.
It is a universal approach applicable to all support settings and is reflected in the responsibilities of all staff members in the organisation, from a support worker who ensures the people they are supporting are engaged in all the activities and relationships going on around them, to a Director who views engagement as a key outcome of support.
The essential outcome of Active Support is engagement so the way it looks in practice will vary, depending on the individual requirements of the person being supported, the situation, and the skills of the people around them.
- 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.
- 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 to be done for them. This enables people to be involved in ways that work for them, perhaps in small parts or over some time.
- 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.
- 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.