What is Active Support?
Active Support is a method of enabling people with learning disabilities to engage more in their daily lives. It appears to work well in all kinds of support settings, although research evidence in the main is from small community homes for adults. Active Support refers to the type of support provided - support that turns person centred plans into person centred action.Active Support changes the style of support from ‘caring for’ to ‘working with’, it promotes independence and supports people to take an active part in their own lives. The support given to the person is also active.Active Support enables people with learning disabilities to live ordinary lives.
What is an ordinary life?
The experience of living an ordinary life, being a valued member of society and feeling accepted within the community where you live, are things most of us take for granted. Although most people with disabilities value these things they can sometimes be quite hard to achieve.Most of us spend our time taking part in a variety of everyday ordinary activities with or without help or support. Most people with learning disabilities like to do the same sorts of things, but many need additional support in order to have the same range of opportunities as anyone else to do ordinary activities in their own home and to fully access their community to build friendships and relationships.Active Support enables people with learning disabilities to develop new skills, access a wider range of opportunities and engage inactivities alongside other people, building important relationships and social networks that are part of an ordinary life. These skills give people more control over their own lives.
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I had been supporting a gentleman for some time, with his anxiety and emotional needs. He was living at home, rarely going out to access the community nor communicating with anyone other than his family(Mum) and myself. When the gentleman was ready to move on, Tangata began supporting him to live independently within his own flat and with their support he began accessing the community, using public transport, attending groups, communicating with others and having as much choice and independence as possible. This is such an achievement as the gentleman is now more sociable, his anxiety has reduced and his confidence and self-esteem has improved. Now he is much happier, has friends and because of this support that he trusts to develop more positive experiences to live a fulfilled life.
Emily Marshall, Senior Behaviour Support Worker, Intensive Support Team, Grimsby