Practice Statement: Natural Supports

Connection to a natural support network of family, close friends and other stakeholders provides people with a sense of security and a safety net. We assist people to maintain existing relationships and to stimulate potential new connections wherever possible.

Practice Definition: Natural Supports

What would be observed in practice:

  • People have the support and resources to develop, enhance or renew relationships, eg Skype, emails, cards, letters, phone calls etc
  • People are assisted to access the supports that will enable them to maintain connections to people in their support network
  • People who have lost contact with family members, friends or stakeholders are supported to re-establish communication and develop their circles of support.
  • People negotiate the extent and frequency of contact with family, friends and stakeholders

Role-based Resources

Residential Staff

Discussion Questions

  1. What can you do to support people to maintain and develop their relationships and natural supports? What’s working well and what more can you do?
  1. The article talks about 4 conditions that are important to create opportunities for friendships between people with and without disabilities. Using these ideas, how can you stimulate potential new connections for a person you support?

Activities

Think about all the people in your own life.

Family and friends are the first people who often come to mind.

What about your neighbours and people you’ve met through common interests or places where you’re a member such as clubs or community groups?

For many of us work can also be a place where we find friendships with people who have similar values and beliefs to us.

Relationships with any of those people could be your natural supports!

Think about the people who have supported you or influenced you at important points in your life, or whom you can count upon, no matter what.

How did you establish those relationships and what do they mean to you in your own life

Community Services

Discussion Questions

  1. What can you do to support people to maintain and develop their relationships and natural supports? What’s working well and what more can you do?
  1. The article talks about 4 conditions that are important to create opportunities for friendships between people with and without disabilities. Using these ideas, how can you stimulate potential new connections for a person you support?

Activities

Think about all the people in your own life.

Family and friends are the first people who often come to mind.

What about your neighbours and people you’ve met through common interests or places where you’re a member such as clubs or community groups?

For many of us work can also be a place where we find friendships with people who have similar values and beliefs to us.

Relationships with any of those people could be your natural supports!

Think about the people who have supported you or influenced you at important points in your life, or whom you can count upon, no matter what.

How did you establish those relationships and what do they mean to you in your own life

Respite

Discussion Questions

  1. What can you do to support people to maintain and develop their relationships and natural supports? What’s working well and what more can you do?
  1. The article talks about 4 conditions that are important to create opportunities for friendships between people with and without disabilities. Using these ideas, how can you stimulate potential new connections for a person you support?

Activities

Think about all the people in your own life.

Family and friends are the first people who often come to mind.

What about your neighbours and people you’ve met through common interests or places where you’re a member such as clubs or community groups?

For many of us work can also be a place where we find friendships with people who have similar values and beliefs to us.

Relationships with any of those people could be your natural supports!

Think about the people who have supported you or influenced you at important points in your life, or whom you can count upon, no matter what.

How did you establish those relationships and what do they mean to you in your own life?

Managers and Coordinators

Discussion Questions

  1. In your leadership role what can you do to support staff to ensure that people maintain and develop their relationships and natural supports? What’s working well and what more can you do?
  1. The article talks about 4 conditions that are important to create opportunities for friendships between people with and without disabilities. Using these ideas, how can you encourage the team to stimulate potential new connections for a person they support?

Activities

Think about all the people in your own life.

Family and friends are the first people who often come to mind.

What about your neighbours and people you’ve met through common interests or places where you’re a member such as clubs or community groups?

For many of us work can also be a place where we find friendships with people who have similar values and beliefs to us.

Relationships with any of those people could be your natural supports!

Think about the people who have supported you or influenced you at important points in your life, or whom you can count upon, no matter what.

How did you establish those relationships and what do they mean to you in your own life?