Resources to help
We have a range of free resources for you to download by clicking on the link.
Our latest resource is a new section of the I’m Thinking Ahead guide: ‘How to be part of the world of work’.
How this guide can help:
- Gets people thinking about work and career possibilities during adulthood
- Tools and ideas to try things out, build local links with community organisations and businesses
- Starts to build a picture of what work might be right
- Be better prepared to talk about work at meetings, such as annual reviews and with supported employment services
The PDF contains fillable text boxes (tinted blue) that you can type into to save your ideas. You will need to download and save to create an offline copy. The coloured tint in the text boxes will not appear when you print a copy.
Download the guide here
A guide to support families in talking about, and planning for, the future, covering many important aspects of adult life.
Click here to download. The PDF contains fillable text boxes (tinted blue) that you can type into to save your ideas. You will need to download and save to create an offline copy. The coloured tint boxes will not appear when you print a copy.
Click here for a diagram of the nine sections of Thinking Ahead: a planning guide for families.
On the Resources and Information page you have the option to download each of the 9 sections individually.
An easy read book for people with learning disabilities to help think, and talk, about the plans they would like to make about their future. These may include significant life choices, such as where to live, how to be supported with their health and how to spend their time.
There are sections on:
- How to plan
- How to make choices
- How to get the right housing and support
Click here to download. The PDF contains fillable text boxes (tinted blue) that you can type into to save your ideas. You will need to download and save to create an offline copy. The coloured tint in the text boxes will not appear when you print a copy.
On the Resources and information page you have the option to download each of the 3 sections individually.
Click here for a leaflet about the Thinking Ahead guides: please share with others you know
This resource, based on the emergency planning information in Thinking Ahead, can help families to think about what they can put in place to prevent an emergency turning into a crisis.
Click here to download. The PDF contains fillable text boxes (tinted blue) that you can type into to save your ideas. You will need to download and save to create an offline copy. The coloured tint in the text boxes will not appear if you print the PDF.
A template to help people plan for their review. Use it to think about what’s working well and what could be better. Make sure discussions at the meeting are focused on what is important to the person whose review it is. Comments can be written under headings for topics you are likely to want to cover in a review. There is space for the views of:
- the person whose review it is
- their family carers
- providers of support
The PDF contains fillable text boxes (tinted blue) that you can type into to save your ideas, share with others and update when necessary. You will first need to download and save to create an offline copy. The coloured tint in the text boxes will not appear when you print a copy.
This guide is written for family carers and support providers helping people with learning disabilities and/or autism to take part in their annual review with Adult Social Care.
The ideas in the guide could also be applied to any other meeting.
You can use it to help people participate, particularly those who find meetings stressful, difficult or boring. It also includes ideas to help people who do not feel able to go to meetings, to contribute in other ways.
This is an easy read presentation about people with learning disabilities having a caring role. It could be used to help someone think about whether they have a caring role. People often go unrecognised as carers so do not get the support they need.
An easy read resource pack to help people with learning disabilities, who help to look after someone else, to have a carers’ assessment and get the support they need. This pack was developed as part of the Department of Health’s work on carers with learning disabilities, under Valuing People.
Workshops, training and development work
We run a variety of workshops and webinars based on the Thinking Ahead and I’m Thinking Ahead guides.
We run introductory workshops and webinars, explaining the guides’ content, practical ideas for using them and how they help to make change happen.
These are helpful, for example, to:
- an organisation wanting to provide information and ideas on future planning to their members
- an advocacy or family carers’ support organisation looking for planning tools for their staff to use
- people in strategic and commissioning roles who would like to explore how the guides could be used in their local area.
Introductory workshops can be followed with sessions on specific topics. This format works well for family carers who find this a useful way of gaining confidence and knowledge about planning, whilst also sharing ideas with each other. These could be:
- planning in a person-centred way
- building networks of support and community connections
- making a plan for emergencies
- making choices and decision-making
- understanding housing and support
We provide half-day and one-day training on using the guides for social work teams covering Children with Disabilities, 16-25, and Adults. Practitioners have said the training has helped in many ways, including:
- having better conversations with people with learning disabilities and/or their families
- having accessible information to hand to share
- supporting people to make more informed housing choices
- carrying out mental capacity assessments
In Essex, we worked in partnership with Essex Carers Network, to support a group of family facilitators to run workshops for other family carers. Click here for more information.
We aim to make our training, workshops and development work affordable to everyone. Please get in touch to talk about what you need and our charges.
What we are aiming to change
- Future planning: People and their families are supported to talk about, and plan for, the future throughout adult life (and not just at the time of transition from education). This planning will lead to people having new opportunities, enjoying life and shaping support to reflect their changing aspirations and needs.
- Practical help to make changes: Families and practitioners know about resources, such as the Thinking Ahead guides, that give practical help with planning for important life changes, such as leaving home or finding employment.
- Planning for emergencies: Greater importance is given to supporting families to have emergency plans in place, not only to address family carers becoming unwell but in response to the uncertainty in people’s lives with the COVID pandemic.
- Annual reviews: People with learning disabilities, their families and supporters know how to make good use of annual reviews and other meetings to talk about the things that are important to a person and advocating for the support to achieve them.
- Recognising people with learning disabilities as carers: People with learning disabilities who have caring responsibilities (whether for an elderly parent, partner or friend), are recognised as a carer and are supported in their role.
The information on this page has been written by Christine Towers of Together Matters. Last reviewed on January 21st, 2024. We welcome your feedback on the content about Adult Life.