Working in Partnership
In order to achieve the best possible outcomes for the person in your care, building good relationships with family carers is vital. The Challenging Behaviour Foundation’s founding principle is family carers and professionals working together as equal partners, with both being viewed as experts.
The role of family carers
“Families are usually the main source of love, care and support for children and adults with learning disabilities. This is especially the case for people with complex needs… Families continue to offer a lifetime of involvement, support and advocacy.” (Valuing People Now, 2009)
Family carers are powerful advocates for their family member and understand their needs better than anyone, so supporting them through good information and shared goals helps them to advocate effectively for their family member. Families are diverse –their individual circumstances vary enormously, so understanding each family context is essential to offering appropriate support.
You will not be the only professional working with the individual:
The professional input around someone with a learning disability and their family is wide-ranging and changes over time. Families have to deal with the interactions between all this support and manage communications with everyone. When new professionals become involved, family carers hope they will be person and family centred, compassionate, knowledgeable and supportive.