Circles of Support
Aristotle suggested, "no one would choose a friendless existence on condition of having all the other things in the world". Life for most of us is as much about interdependence as it is about independence. We need people in our lives to help us and those people may be around for most of our lives or they may be people we barely know.
As people with a learning disability find opportunities to do things with less and less paid support, there is a danger they will be left to fend for themselves.
Wanting your own flat does not mean you do not want social contact, or that you want to be in one place for the rest of your life with the odd visit from a paid carer.
Living like that is no more independent than living in an institution, except that you may be even more lonely. Most people want to be able to experience different lifestyles before they settle on one particular type - sometimes people never 'settle' into a certain way of living. Circles of support consist of those people that are committed to being in someone's life until they have made it better. This may be a quick process, it may take years and sometimes people may then move onto helping the focus person with something else.
Circles of support are also people that the focus person wants to have supporting them for the period that the focus person chooses. These groups support the focus person to find the way they want to live and to support them if/when they want to change their lifestyle.
If you want to try and work out who you could have in a circle of support you use this Template [195kb] (PDF - 195 KB).