Supporting family, carer links and community connections
We understand that families, friends and supporters are incredibly important to all of us. This is very much the case for the people we support and so we recognise how crucial it is to support and facilitate family links and community connections.
At Alternative Futures Group we believe that people and families are the experts in “you”, and together we can work out what great support looks like. Each family is unique and different, so we don’t have one way of doing things – we work to meet the preferences of the people we support.
Our staff work with individuals to support them to:
- Have as much contact as they wish with their family. Some families want very regular and frequent visits, others who live further afield may enjoy phone calls, Skype chats, emails or other forms of communication.
- Plan visits and attend family occasions. Many of the people we support enjoy visits to family, and participate in family occasions with discrete support where required. Staff also support many people in their own homes who enjoy receiving visits from their family – like we all do. We also positively encourage families to keep in touch across our Treatment & Recovery Centres.
- Enjoy regular family get-togethers. We try and organise regular opportunities for families to get together too, should they wish, through activities such as barbecues, Christmas parties and other social events.
- Keeping in touch. We work to keep families up to date with how we are supporting their loved ones and ensure that they are involved in their person-centred planning and reviews, if they want us to.
Families are welcomed and valued by us all at Alternative Futures Group. We deliver workshops on subjects that families/carers tell us are important to them, like planning for the future. Regular keeping in touch carer support groups/drop in sessions are also held across the North West to meet the information needs of families/carers; offering an outlet for them to provide us with their feedback. We know some families/carers that are happy to talk about their experiences with us by speaking to the Care Quality Commission Inspectors and some who are very involved in local carer organisations. Please get in touch with us if you have any ideas about how we can improve our support.
We recognise that not everyone has family and friends, however, at Alternative Futures Group we are investing in learning how we can help people to develop more natural, informal types of support in their lives – through making friends and connections in the communities they live in, getting involved in community events/activities or pursuing special interests. We are also supporting the development of Community Circles, which we hope will go on to offer a long term circle of support to enhance the quality people experience in their lives through relationships, networks and community contributions.
Find out more about Community Circles.