Everyone using our services must take part in a pre-assessment. This ensures we are offering the right and best possible Pathway Plans. People using our services will receive information on the following:
- How our services operates
- Help on how to make an informed decision on our services
- Information on legal rights
- Information on support arrangements
- Information about our environment
- Information on management and staffing arrangements
- Information on housing support planning
Once the pre-assessments have been completed and are happy and secured as a client of ACS Plus, they will be given a full induction into our accommodation. ACS Plus clients will receive a booklet with the following information:
- Moving in: what to expect from ACS Plus, risk assessments, accreditation and service standards and an introduction to our manager and the team
- Settling in: Feeling safe and secure, access to the property, emergency alarm procedure and access, fire procedure, practice evacuations, communal facilities
- Day-to-day living: Personal development plan, making choices, expressing views, lifestyle support, exercising your rights, eating well plan, private life policies, supporting communication
- Keeping well plan: Medication procedure, medication, healthcare and prescription information
- General information: Social activities, cleaning, pets, visitors, smoking
- Performance and service: Performance review, complaints, suggestions and compliments
Our multi-disciplinary team
Input from our in-house Multi-Disciplinary Team (MDT) can be provided on top of people’s support when further therapeutic, behavioural support or interventions are required. Input can range from rehabilitative support for someone in crisis, to support for complex assessments and transitions, to resolving and reducing emotional and behavioural issues. It could even be simply being on-hand to give extra advice and guidance to our support teams. This is an additional resource for people who have had input and cost agreed with their funding authority.
Individual Life Designs plan
Individual Life Designs are personal authoring tools we use to help us specifically tailor our support. These plans are ideal when facing circumstances that involve change, for example someone leaving home or a hospital setting.
Whatever the focus, we know stability is key, as is self-discovery and the Individual Life Design will discover a person’s requirements, as well as their gifts and capacities.
These plans also help develop an understanding of a person’s community, relationships and help people to be grounded in the belief that they (and their loved ones) know what is best placed to figure out what a good life is.
More importantly the plans created are highly detailed and include looking at the type of property, adaptions, living arrangements and the amount and type of support required.
Our ILD Plans allow our staff to use their specialist knowledge to confidently discuss the needs of the people we support, with a good level of understanding of our clients’ goals and needs. Our staff will identify our clients’ likes, dislikes, interests, personality traits and lifestyle choices.
Positive Behaviour Support
We recognise the often chaotic, traumatic and complex circumstances which have shaped the experiences of vulnerable people. In supporting our clients to work to their strengths and enforce positive behaviour, we can prepare for a more positive future. It is often necessary to find pro-active approaches that encourage their expression through a broad range of behaviour.
ACS Plus is committed to a holistic approach to behaviour, promoting a safe, secure and stable caring environment. Effective support, development and learning can only take place in an atmosphere that is purposeful and calm. It is a central aim to promote positive behaviour from everyone who works, lives and shares in the service offered. This will encourage everyone to interact with each other in a consistent and appropriate manner built on mutual respect and understanding.
ACS Plus recognises that all behaviour is influenced by a number of factors. The way that people behave depends on the way they feel about themselves. The way people feel about themselves depends on their history and experiences, and the manner in which those around them respond to their behaviour.
Our Positive Behaviour Support programme is a person-centred framework that identifies those who may be at risk of developing behaviours that challenge. It is a blend of personcentred values and behavioural science and uses evidence to inform decision-making.
Positive Behaviour Support (PBS) approaches are based on a set of overarching values. These values include the commitment to providing support that promotes inclusion, choice, participation and equality of opportunity.
Behaviour that challenges always happens for a reason and may be the person’s only way of communicating an unmet need. PBS helps us understand the reason for the behaviour so we can better meet people’s needs, enhance their quality of life and reduce the likelihood that the behaviour will happen.
Our support improves learnt behaviour that challenges by helping people to:
• Grow personal awareness
• Exercise their choices
• Find freedom in supported living
• Learns how to work with urges and compulsions
It helps us to:
• Develop awareness of a person’s triggers
• Learn how to respond skilfully to challenging thoughts, feelings & emotions without medication
• Foster a non-judgmental, compassionate relationship together
We have found that positive approaches to behaviour management, through positive recognition and reward, coupled with clear and consistent systems and procedures for dealing with more challenging behaviour, are most effective.
We believe that this can best be achieved by creating and maintaining an environment which is consistent, fair and predictable and where positive relationships develop. Alongside an ethos, intrinsic to the organisation, that clients are supported and encouraged to demonstrate positive behaviour, there will be situations in which staff will be required to exercise reasonable control in order to prevent a high-risk escalation. In accordance with our duty of care, and the promotion of the best interests of our clients, carers as part of the wider multi-disciplinary team are responsible for the safety of our clients. There may be occasions when it is necessary to intervene to safeguard the welfare of a client or when their behaviour places other clients, staff or people at risk. In recognition of this ACS Plus delivers a mandatory behaviour management courses PRICE, MAPA, PMVA and Breakaway training, which all offer positive strategies and techniques for de-escalation.
Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT)
Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) is a talking therapy that can help you manage your problems by changing the way you think and behave.
It’s most commonly used to treat anxiety and depression, but can be useful for other mental and physical health problems.
How CBT work
CBT is based on the concept that your thoughts, feelings, physical sensations and actions are interconnected, and that negative thoughts and feelings can trap you in a vicious cycle.
CBT aims to help you deal with overwhelming problems in a more positive way by breaking them down into smaller parts.
You’re shown how to change these negative patterns to improve the way you feel.
Unlike some other talking treatments, CBT deals with your current problems, rather than focusing on issues from your past.
It looks for practical ways to improve your state of mind on a daily basis.
Uses for CBT
CBT has been shown to be an effective way of treating a number of different mental health conditions.
In addition to depression or anxiety disorders, CBT can also help people with:
• bipolar disorder
• borderline personality disorder
• eating disorders – such as anorexia and bulimia
• obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD)
• panic disorder
• post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
• sleep problems – such as insomnia
• problems related to alcohol misuse
CBT is also sometimes used to treat people with long-term health conditions, such as:
• irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)
• chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS)
Although CBT cannot cure the physical symptoms of these conditions, it can help people cope better with their symptoms.
What happens during CBT sessions
If CBT is recommended, you’ll usually have a session with a therapist once a week or once every 2 weeks.
The course of treatment usually lasts for between 5 and 20 sessions, with each session lasting 30 to 60 minutes.
During the sessions, you’ll work with your therapist to break down your problems into their separate parts, such as your thoughts, physical feelings and actions.
You and your therapist will analyse these areas to work out if they’re unrealistic or unhelpful, and to determine the effect they have on each other and on you.
Your therapist will then be able to help you work out how to change unhelpful thoughts and behaviours.
After working out what you can change, your therapist will ask you to practise these changes in your daily life and you’ll discuss how you got on during the next session.
The eventual aim of therapy is to teach you to apply the skills you have learnt during treatment to your daily life.
This should help you manage your problems and stop them having a negative impact on your life, even after your course of treatment finishes.
Pros and cons of CBT
Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) can be as effective as medicine in treating some mental health problems, but it may not be successful or suitable for everyone.
Some of the advantages of CBT include:
• It may be helpful in cases where medicine alone has not worked
• It can be completed in a relatively short period of time compared with other talking therapies
• The highly structured nature of CBT means it can be provided in different formats, including in groups, self-help books and apps (you can find mental health apps and tools in the NHS apps library)
• It teaches you useful and practical strategies that can be used in everyday life, even after the treatment has finished
Some of the disadvantages of CBT to consider include:
• You need to commit yourself to the process to get the most from it – a therapist can help and advise you, but they need your co-operation
• Attending regular CBT sessions and carrying out any extra work between sessions can take up a lot of your time
• It may not be suitable for people with more complex mental health needs or learning difficulties, as it requires structured sessions
• It involves confronting your emotions and anxieties – you may experience initial periods where you’re anxious or emotionally uncomfortable
• It focuses on the person’s capacity to change themselves (their thoughts, feelings and behaviours) – this does not address any wider problems in systems or families that often have a significant impact on someone’s health and wellbeing
• Some critics also argue that because CBT only addresses current problems and focuses on specific issues, it does not address the possible underlying causes of mental health conditions, such as an unhappy childhood