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Guidance for Families of People with Learning Disabilities and Practitioners in Developing Culturally Competent Planning

This guide has been developed to give an opportunity for families of people with learning disabilities from different communities to make sure that information that is important to them in having a good life is included in planning. It also aims to help practitioners when they are planning support with people from diverse communities.

The guide contains ‘important’ questions to ask people with learning disabilities and their families that help to create a ‘rich’ picture of their identity, history, preferences and requirements in order to create a picture that is unique to them and is family centred. A good ‘facilitator’ or support planner will remember all these questions as they are important in making sure people have a good life. It offers practical ways to help gather information about people’s culture, spirituality and what matters to them and their community.

Some people may feel that this guidance is basic and we make no apology as getting the basics right is extremely important.

As in our ‘Reaching out – Guidance for Practitioners in Developing Culturally Competent Practice’ we recommend two core elements of ‘good practice’ with people with learning disabilities from BME communities that we believe underpin all others.

  1. We should not assume that people from the same ‘minority community’ share the same beliefs or aspirations, or the same social circumstances. Person-centred approaches are central to an effective response.
  2. It is important that practitioners go beyond a person-centred approach and consider the whole family. The income, education, housing and health of family members are important factors that need to be taken into account when practitioners are planning for a person with learning disabilities from a Black or Minority Ethnic community. A ‘whole system’, family focused approach is needed.