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Everyone has the right to have personal relationships, including the full breadth of people who draw on care and support services, regardless of the type of support they access. 

The adult social care workforce needs to have the right values, skills and knowledge to support people they care for to have positive personal relationships. We've produced a range of resources to help employers think about what workers need to know so they can create a development programme for their organisation.

Duration 24 min


Training materials

Ƶ and Supported Loving have developed a package of training materials to help social care employers develop the skills and knowledge needed to support people who draw on services with personal relationships. 

The training resources have been developed for social care training providers and in-house training departments of social care employers to use to embed learning around supporting the personal and sexual relationships of people drawing on care and support.

The ‘Supporting personal relationships’ guide and trainer materials are supported by the Care Quality Commission and compliment their  around inspection in the area of relationships and sexuality in adult social care services.  

The trainer materials include PowerPoint slides which are supported by a lesson plan, training facilitator guide and learner handouts and worksheets.

The programme includes a brief introduction, followed by four modules that can be delivered individually or as a complete package. The training areas are:

1. Understanding sexuality and relationships: barriers, benefits and the impact of staff values

2. Roles, regulations and the law

3. Sexual safety and autonomy

4. Practical approaches to relationships and sexuality support

Both the guide and training materials are focused on enabling social care providers to offer support in a way that respects peoples’ choices and values whilst keeping them safe.


The three elements of the training  

PDF - 5.12 Mb

This facilitators guide will explain the background and purpose of the training, tell you what the training is about, and provide guidance on how to facilitate the programme. The materials can be used in face to face or online sessions.


Word - 306 Kb

Download the lesson plan which provides an overview of the structure of the programme, what trainer materials are required and how much time is needed to complete each stage of the training. 


PowerPoint - 59.6 Mb

Download the PowerPoint slides to support the delivery of the training. They cover all four modules of the training programme and should be used alongside the facilitators guide, lesson plan, worksheets and handouts.  

Handouts and worksheets

In 2021, Ƶ produced guidance in partnership with the Care Quality Commission on supporting people to have personal relationships.  


PDF - 470KB

This guidance will help employers think about what workers need to know and understand about personal relationships, and how they can create a workforce development programme for their organisation. 


The care exchange podcast with Dr Claire Bates from Supported Loving

We spoke to Claire about how we can, and should be, supporting people to continue the relationships that are important to them.

She talks candidly about how we should be helping people to have meaningful relationships, including where people want to continue with intimate or sexual relationships. Claire also offers some great advice on how to create open cultures, reassure staff about having honest conversations and debunks some of the myths about what it is ok to say and support people with. 

Choice Support are now providing Train the Trainer support to enable delivery of this learning programme. Please contact Claire.Bates@choicesupport.org.uk to find out more.


Learning materials 

PDF - 1.02MB
This report collates reviews of resources that are available to social care staff from a range of authors, disciplines, and formats.


Excel - 37KB
Use this spreadsheet to filter the learning resources by social care group, type of resource, its purpose, availability and cost. You can also filter by specific areas that it covers, such as internet safety and usage, and person centred approaches to sex and sexuality.



Care quality commision podcast - Sexual safety through empowerment publication

Ƶ has taken part in a podcast covering sexual safety through empowerment publication with CQC.


An open culture is crucial for allowing people to express sexuality and promote healthy sexual relationships in care, as well as helping to spot where there may be risks of abuse. One of the key things CQC found in our sexual safety guidance which we published earlier this year was that people must be empowered to speak about relationships and sexuality, in order for them to articulate their needs and feel valued. While we are aware that sexual incidents in services are not common, we know from speaking to those affected that the impact and consequences can be life-changing. It is not good enough to put this issue in a 'too difficult to discuss' box. It is particularly because these topics are sensitive and complex that they should not be ignored.

Kate Terroni
Chief Inspector of Adult Social Care - Care Quality Commission (CQC)


Personal relationships are part of many peoples’ lives and everyone should have the opportunity to develop these relationships if they choose to. Providing support to people around personal relationships is a key part of a person-centred approach; it’s about people making their own choices about what they want from life, and offering support which allows them to live out these choices safely.

Malcolm Mitchell
The Avenues Group