Social and Supported Loving

Supported Loving toolkit

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The Supported Loving network has produced a series of guides to help support people with issues surrounding sexuality and relationships.

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Autistic Loving

Autistic loving- Supporting autistic people with relationships and sexuality: An awareness raising workshop for social care staff.

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Aids and equipment

People have a right to support around their sexuality, which includes finding appropriate equipment and aids to facilitate sexual activities.

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Capacity to engage in sexual relations

Here at Supported Loving, one of our most frequently discussed topics is mental capacity regarding sex. Staff are often uncertain about this topic and this page aims to provide clarity.

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Challenging values, attitudes and organisational culture

It may be necessary to challenge attitudes towards the relationships of people who access support.

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Contraception options


Research shows there is need for clear accessible information and advice about contraception, and the need for inclusive sexual health services.

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Domestic abuse

Domestic abuse

People with learning disabilities are three times more likely to experience domestic abuse, and in the last year alone it has happened to nearly one in every five people. [Office for National Statistics, 2021].

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Harmful sexual behaviour

Adults and children with learning disabilities and/or autistic people can sometimes display harmful or abusive sexual behaviours.

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Having conversations

Uh, oh. Someone wants to talk to you about sex and they're asking lots of awkward questions. What can you say?

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Housing and supporting relationships

What do you do if a person with support needs wants to live with their partner, and this has an impact on their housing?

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The following toolkit page explores the topic of masturbation and how to effectively support an individual to engage in this activity, safely and legally.

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Online dating

When it comes to using the internet, technology or something like online dating, there should be a choice to use it or not, but choice should always be informed.

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Many adults enjoy viewing pornography, and most is legal to view. However, this page explores some of the challenges that may arise when supporting someone.

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Rights vs risk

This toolkit page is about balancing the rights of individuals we support, to explore their intimate lives with the management of any associated risks.

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Sex positive sexuality and relationships training

People with support needs have the same rights to have intimate, sexual and romantic relationships as anyone else, but often don’t have adequate support to ensure that they are able to exercise these rights.

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Sexual rights

Sexual rights are human rights related to sexuality. These rights are often an under-acknowledged area of sexuality and relationship support, but are very important.

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Sexual violence

This toolkit page is about sexual violence and how sexual violence can affect people with learning disabilities and autistic people.

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Sexuality and gender identity

Everyone has the right to information about gender and sexuality and to get good support to express themselves.

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Supporting relationships

Supported Loving is all about equipping staff to support people to enjoy close and intimate relationships.

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Supporting people with severe or profound learning disabilities

People with severe learning disabilities and complex needs require lifelong learning and support in all areas of their lives, including relationships and sexuality education (RSE).

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Staying safe in relationships

Developing relationships can be associated with risk factors. However, any risks should be balanced against the benefits and joys that relationships can bring.

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Support to date

This page covers supporting people with learning disabilities to date, the challenges faced, and how to address them and provide the appropriate support needed.

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Supporting friendships

Whilst Supported Loving mainly focusses on intimate relationships, we also recognise that friendship can be a stepping stone to romance.

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Working with parents around relationships and sexuality

Few organisations have developed strategies to engage parents with relationships and sexuality support.

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Writing a policy

Writing a relationships and sexuality policy

Having a relationships and sexuality policy is an essential foundation for building responsive practices that meet regulatory, legal, and ethical standards.

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More about Supported Loving

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Supported Loving blogs and publications

Supported Loving is attracting interest from many different people - read what they are saying in their blogs.

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What Is Supported Loving

What is Supported Loving?

For some people finding love is often more than just chemistry – it can come down to getting the right support

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Supported Loving network

Supported Loving is not a formal membership organisation. Anyone can take part, it is free.

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