What does it mean for the person receiving support?

Taking risks is essential to living a full life. Self-directed support should mean greater choice and control for individuals and enabling positive risk taking is an important element of that. Most people want to be supported by organisations who understand what level of risk they are comfortable with and who will support them to manage that risk whilst still achieving their outcomes.

What does it mean for the support provider?

Developing a person-centred approach to risk enablement with the people you support, their families and other stakeholders and making sure staff are clear about the organisation’s approach to risk and are aware what their responsibilities are.

Provider’s will want to ensure accessible processes and paperwork are in place to make sure that a person’s decisions about their life and support are clearly recorded and acted upon.

What are the challenges?

  • Creating a culture of positive risk taking throughout your organisation where staff may be accustomed to a more risk-averse way of doing things.
  • Difficulties arising when regulatory bodies or local authorities do not share your organisations understanding of acceptable risk.

Top tips

  • Use ordinary language to talk about risk- what are we worried about? How worried are we? What can we do to worry less?
  • Develop the right tools for carrying out risk assessments.
  • Involve people who are receiving support in making decisions about their own lives.
  • Co-produce risk assessments.
  • Share responsibility for risk assessments between all stakeholders: individuals, providers and local authorities.
  • Promote positive risk taking, focus on outcomes and enabling choice.

Develop a risk enablement strategy for your organisation so that staff feel comfortable supporting people to take risks.