Practice guidance

This guidance contains five sections that are based on important principles of how to work well with people. Each section contains information, based on evidence, about how to work positively, ethically and helpfully. There are links to further resources and to tools that you can use in your work.

The five areas and their main content are:

Start with the person

  • person-centred approach
  • individual in situation
  • understand the person
  • establish outcomes

Maintain a relationship

  • relationship-based approach
  • co-production
  • communication and observation
  • coordination

Involve support networks

  • strengths based approach
  • working with carers
  • working with family and known people
  • pets and pastimes
  • communities

Uphold people’s rights

  • taking a rights based approach
  • challenging discrimination
  • identity
  • capacity and decision-making
  • advocacy and voice
  • safeguarding and the right to take risks

Work with ongoing change

  • proactive practice
  • stages of dementia
  • after diagnosis
  • enablement
  • care and support
  • end of life and bereavement support


The guidance is based on  A manual for good social work practice Supporting adults who have dementia, written by The College of Social Work (TCSW, now closed) for the Department of Health in 2015.