Quality Futures is a project in the Royal London Borough of Kingston to improve the opportunities and quality of life of people living in residential and supported living services. The work focuses on people who may find it difficult to advocate for themselves and who also do not have many support networks and so have fewer people advocating for them.
Person centred approaches are used to build up ideas about how a person would like to have more control, choice and opportunities in their life. Managers, support workers and residential workers are supported to help to make these changes happen and to continue to build on them.
The work has led to both small and bigger changes in people's lives:
- Reconnecting with family members
- Initiating and arranging family get-togethers
- Becoming part of their local church community
- Meeting up with a friend they had lost touch with
- Getting support to think through living somewhere different
People with learning disabilities are referred to Quality Futures, mainly by care managers, based on a number of criteria (including involvement of family, friends and community and level of involvement of brokerage).
Through the work we realised that people working in residential and supported living needed to learn about the ideas behind circles of support. This would help people with learning disabilites have friends, both with and without disabilities, and have alternatives to staff members for social activities.
This led to workshops on developing circles of support and community connecting for people with learning disabilites to be involved in with their supporters. This led staff to think more creatively about their roles.
The Quality Futures approach has adapted over time and links with other development projects in Kingston. The Parliament for People with Learning Disabilities has been working with senior managers to encourage staff to think more broadly about their roles. This has chiefly been about people with learning disabilities being given better support to keep in touch with friends and make new friends. It also helps staff to have a better understanding of their changing role.
How the Foundation can Help
We can support local areas strategically and practically to develop the roles of managers and front-line staff in residential and supported living services to deliver support that is in tune with the personalisation agenda.
For more information about Quality Futures contact Christine Towers on 020 7803 1158 or email firstname.lastname@example.org