Residential Care vs Supported Living

Paul de Savary’s thoughts on the current push by Local Authorities to move individuals with complex needs out of residential placements and into supported living environments.

Go to the webpage

But don’t just take my word for it.  Hear from Steven why he thinks it is important to have a home manager ‘on the floor’.


3 Responses to “Residential Care vs Supported Living”
  1. Kirsten says:


    An extremely thought provoking article. I was impressed by the straight forward way in which both care options were explained. As an outsider to this sector it put forward the arguments succinctly and in a format that I could understand.

    I was extremely interested to see that the care regulators have moved on to a plan b option (supported living) without first managing to iron out the issues experienced within the residential care sector. At first glance it would seem easier to provide a higher standard of care in a residential setting, since this option is based on groups of individuals living in one home, rather than individuals living in numerous and isolated homes. It would therefore seem erroneous to favour the option for supported living over residential care until resolution of the recent problems highlighted by the media within the care sector.

  2. Julia Johnson says:

    Hi Paul and family,

    Your webite is very welcome in my world – thank you.

    I would like to comment on your residential v supported living debate as it is something that is causing me sleepless nights for two main reasons;

    1. I am the parent of a child who is currently in a residential placement
    2. I work for a disability charity who are currently going all out to push supported living on the premise that; “it gives the customer more choice”.

    My stand on it it this; all decisions should be made from a person centred perspective. For some it may be that supported living is the best option – for others it may be residential services. It really does depend on the individual. I totally agree also with your comment that both residential and supported living places can vary in quality and it is certainly not the case that one type of service is always better than the other.

    Our daughter has a very complex learning disability and I would consider her to be at the more extreme end of the spectrum. As a result she is unable to tell us what provision she would prefer and so as her parents – those with her best interests at heart – we have to do our best to work that out using a person centred approach. We do not believe this should be limited to a choice of supported living environments and yet we have been told that it is and that within the next two years we need to choose somewhere for her to be moved to.

    I find it ironic that the current trend towards supported living is often supported by the claim that it offers more choice to customers/clients when these customers/clients are bieng removed from their current residential provision. How is that giving them a choice?

    The fact that I also work for a charity who go along with this trend just adds to my frustration and sits very uncomfortably with me. I thought the days of ‘one policy fits all’ had gone and to me the idea that everyone should move into supported living is no more acceptable than saying that everyone should live in a residential setting.

    In summary I ask that everyone tries to consider this from a person centred perspective and to understand that for some a residential setting can offer a safe haven especially for those who find the wider world a very confusing and scary place.

  3. Ms K says:

    If only the people in control took a person centred approach!!! Unfortunately it’s not going to be the case when the purse strings have been tightened and commissioners are only looking for the cheapest option.
    I work in a care home, I have a young man in my care, let’s call him Bob. Bob has Severe SLD and challenging behaviour. Now I don’t usually put an age against people but for the sake of the discussion I would estimate his mental age at around 6-8 months old when he is in fact 21.
    Bob is out of county placed as are many of the residents and his local authorities are telling his parents he is going to be moved to a supported living home. Now there are few decisions that Bob can make for himself, perhaps only when he wants to go outside he will bang on the door.
    So, how exactly will he benefit from supported living? I am totally baffled that anyone can tell me this would be a better option for him. Apart from the fact he has no idea what this would mean, like you say ‘where is the choice in that?’ In my opinion the door is much wider open for financial abuse.
    Those in supported living should understand what it means and should be able to recognise different types of abuse. We see it all too often that carers who work in individuals homes get away with thousands of pounds by manipulating or abusing the system.
    Very concerning that the government and local authorities think that this is ok. It’s even more concerning that social workers, who should be dedicating their work to ensuring that those in care receive the best possible care, away from abuse and neglect have been brain washed into thinking that this is the best thing to do!!