4.2 A different approach to support
Nottinghamshire County Council has developed a scheme called a strengths-based approach. The strengths-based approach is also referred to as an ‘assets-based approach’ in Scotland and has been promoted by the Institute for Research and Innovation in Social Services (IRISS) for a number of years. For example, see the IRISS publication.
This type of approach helps to encourage people to become more independent by gradually withdrawing support once the carer can see the person has the skill or strength required to carry out certain tasks independently. This has the benefits of support still being in place as long as the person needs it, while allowing the cared-for person to become increasingly independent and self-sufficient.
In the next activity you will watch a video about Julie, who has mental health problems. Cheryl, from United Response in Nottinghamshire, supported Julie in her efforts to achieve a high level of independence. Julie wanted this independence so that her daughter Leanne, who had been caring for her, could move away from home.
Transcript: Care Act – Promoting independence
Care Act – Promoting independence
Taking a strengths based approach – seeing the individual
Julie has mental health difficulties. Her daughter Leanne, a young carer, wanted to move out of home. Julie was assessed by a social worker and offered support from United Response, one of a number of support providers within Nottinghamshire. Julie was introduced to Cheryl, who took a strength-based approach to working with her.
When Cheryl met Julie she
had low self confidence
could not do her own shopping
could not manage her money
didn’t get much exercise
was not developing her art work
was becoming isolated.
Because of the strength-based approach Julie is now more independent. She has friends and neighbours she can call on in an emergency
does her shopping with Cheryl’s support and is working towards doing this alone
manages her own money
shares her art work with other people and is working on producing her own book.
As you watch the video, think about what Cheryl did to enable Julie to take the steps towards independence. Make a note of your thoughts.
The first thing that Cheryl did was to establish a relationship with Julie by finding out what was important to her and what she could already do. Cheryl then built on these foundations to give Julie the confidence that she could manage certain activities independently. These initial steps helped Julie to gain the self-confidence and self-esteem to take further and more difficult steps.
Both women acknowledged that there was a long road ahead but that it couldn’t be rushed. As Cheryl worked with Julie, she would be able to gradually withdraw the level of support and Julie would do more and more for herself.
It was evident from the video how much this has increased Julie’s well-being and that of her daughter, who was also working towards her aim of being able to leave home.