Thinking Ahead: supporting families to plan for the future

Thinking ahead

Thinking Ahead is about supporting families to plan for the future. It has ideas about how to make this happen in local areas, a planning guide for families and training to use the guide.

Thinking Ahead is an ongoing piece of work as it touches on many aspects of the lives of people with learning disabilities and their family carers. We started the work in 2010 with the aim of producing resources to help families plan for the future. We ran workshops and conducted a survey for parents to find out what they were worried about and what resources would help.

From this work we have:

  • produced a report to raise awareness about the need for better support to families to plan the future. It summarises the findings of our research and recommends what should be happening in every local area. It is relevant to policy-makers, local authorities, practitioners in health and social care and families.
  • developed training workshops to help people use the Thinking Ahead approach
  • written a planning guide for families with nine topics that can be looked at together or each one can stand alone. The guide has been updated to explain how planning for the future fits with the Care Act (2014).

Download the report

Thinking ahead

The introduction to Thinking Ahead: A Planning Guide for Families.

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Information to help you understand the legislation and practice that relates to decision-making.

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An introduction to how person-centred planning can help you to think about what options might work well for your relative.

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A network of friends and family is especially important to people with learning disabilities who may outlive their parents or other close family.

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Talking about sensitive subjects with offspring can be uncomfortable for any parents, and it can be even harder if your son/daughter has learning disabilities

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Making decisions about leaving your money and possessions is an important part of planning for the future.

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This section guides you through the different housing and support options.

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An emergency plan sets out the best way of supporting your relative in case of an emergency.

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This section gives additional information about what to look out for when your relative is moving from the family home.

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This checklist can be used to help you plan which areas you want to do further work on, either now or in the future.

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Templates to help you work with your relative to make plans for the future.

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This section of the guide includes a glossary and information on useful organisations.

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"Over 1.5 million people in the UK have a learning disability"