Guidepost 3: Develop Relationships & Build Skills to Decrease Reliance on Paid Supports

CLE activities should focus on:

Teaching specific skills to help people access their communities and employment, with the intention of fading supports.

Support staff can help people build specific job and community engagement skills by modeling: directly teaching specific skills around daily living, community access and employment.

Another strategy for skill-building is providing time-limited one-to-one supports to teach people new skills that would then allow them to participate in community activities with less ongoing support. This initial investment in skill building makes it easier to fade supports in the longer term.

A third strategy is to provide peer-to-peer support, such as having a person with more mastery of a particular skill (such as riding the bus) teach or support someone who is still learning that skill.

Building individuals’ networks to expand their access to natural supports.

As people make more connections in their communities, they can use the relationships they are building to create natural supports. Tapping into one’s social circle as a source of natural supports can then lead to a level of interdependence with others in the community that helps with the fading of formal, paid supports. For example, coworkers and fellow volunteers can provide on-the-job guidance on tasks, or a church member can give someone a ride to services.

Here are some additional resources to help providers apply Guidepost 3:

We sometimes use two new terms in reference to this guidepost: human capital and social capital. Human capital refers to the specific skills an individual can bring to their job and to community experiences. Social capital means the individual’s network of relationships with other people and the value inherent in that network.

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