Change that leads to better lives

What are Small Supports?

Small supports organisations have a lot in common; here are nine key characteristics they share.

What are small supports
  1. From the first steps the person (and their chosen family and friends) has as much control as possible and there is a commitment to this control growing.
  2. The starting point to developing great support is the person’s aspirations about where they want to live and the life they want to have; conversation about support then follows from this. Compromising on control and aspirations is when things start to go wrong.
  3. Supporters (staff) are recruited by and around the individual. They don’t work across services. Staff are not a substitute for friends, community peers, co-workers and neighbours.
  4. People choose where they live and who, if anyone, they live with. People are the tenant or owner of their own home or perhaps live with family. There is a clear separation of housing and support.
  5. Funding is sustainable and is designed and used around the individual.
  6. Small supports organisations stay with people. Change and challenges are expected so they don’t withdraw support or ‘sell’ services on.
  7. In their work, leadership, recruitment and actions, small supports organisations are rooted in their local community.
  8. The organisations stay relatively small. Knowing each person well means not growing by more than three to five people a year and finding a natural size where people are known and valued, and the organisation is financially sustainable.
  9. Small supports organisations are developed around these practices. Taking some of these practices and making them aspirations within large, segregated services will not deliver the desired outcomes.

If you would like to know more, please read A Paper to Challenge and Inform Transforming Care Partnerships.

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