A circle of support is shaped by the person supported, but in general has the following characteristics:
- The circle consists of people in the person’s life and volunteers;
- The circle aims to support the person and their family to manage challenges and transitions in their life;
- The circle helps the person to achieve their goals, try new hobbies, and to make meaningful social connections;
- The circle is person-centred, and the person’s voice and needs are paramount;
- The person’s family may or may not be circle members, but they contribute to the person’s plan and are liaised with by the Equal Futures team;
- An Equal Futures Project Coordinator organises and attends circle meetings.
Self Sustaining Circle of Support
Self-sustaining circles are long-term circles which evolve over time, providing lifelong support to families. Initially, these are facilitated by staff or volunteers. Over time the circles continue naturally, requiring less input from the Equal Futures team and become ‘self-sustaining’. This is often because the person we support develops confidence in managing their own circle, or a circle member has chosen to take on the role of facilitator.
A Self-Sustaining Circle is for a longer commitment:
- your loved ones want peace of mind that others appreciate you as much as they do
- they want to feel confident and supported in making their own life choices
- they don’t want to be completely dependent on Local Authority or Social Care Services
- they want to be able to develop as an individual with the correct assistance and practical support