We listen to and learn from the people we support through the thousands of conversations and interactions we have with people every day.
This has been central to developing our understanding of people as unique human beings, and how having a learning disability impacts on their lives and experiences.
We believe that to work in a truly person-centred way it is essential that we work in partnership with the people we support and their families.
We have drawn on established approaches and practices from a wide body of thinking about person centred working and models that can inform and enhance understanding of human behaviour, like Positive Behavioural Support.
While Positive Behavioural Support (PBS) theory supports a very distinct set of complex needs, there is evidence that when many of its practices are applied to all people with a learning disability they can provide an improved quality of life.
We have used this experience and expertise to draw together our practice framework, which we believe will provide even better outcomes for people. At the heart of our thinking are the following principles.
Our governing principles
Everybody wants and deserves to have a good quality of life. We’re interested in making a real and lasting difference to the people we support.
We put people at the centre of all we do. We are person-centred in our thinking, our planning and our action.
We strongly believe in the importance of enduring relationships. We want to really deepen our understanding of human behaviour and learning disability. Most importantly, we understand the complexity of human behaviour that can exist. This can make it difficult for some people to participate and maintain relationships. We recognise the effort needed in order for participation to be effective, and we place great importance on this.
We seek to understand what support to live a good life looks like and the impact that quality services make to individuals. We continue to learn through trying out what works and we use this to continuously improve. This helps us be more effective in the way we support people.
In order for person-centred thinking and planning to flourish, and to deliver great experiences and outcomes for people we recognise that our services need to be stable and reliable. We care that our services are well organised and that they meet, or exceed, regulatory and contractual requirements. This is the non- negotiable base of our practice.
But what matters most to us is that the things we do make a tangible difference to the people we support. We people to live lives they love. We will know if we have been successful by the measurable outcomes that people experience and practical goals and objectives that they achieve. We don’t believe in taking actions for actions’ sake. The things we do need to be effective and aligned with what matters to each person.
Using the practice framework
We want our teams to use the practice framework every day, knowing that when they do, the relationships and experiences that people have improve.
We think that to use this framework everyday means that people will be asking:
do I understand the person I am working with?
am I sure that the person is being given enough opportunities to meaningfully particapte in the things we are doing?
do I know what skills may be useful to them to make sure that they are getting more control over their life?
We think that working in this way, and thinking about the relationships we have. will mean that we are providing person centred support that helps people enjoy great experiences and achieve the things that are important to them.
The Learning Disability Helpline is our free help and advice line.
Our team can offer advice, information and discuss what support Mencap can offer tailored to your needs, in your area.