Personal relationships

Engaging in all forms of relationships is an important part of everyone's life.

Relationships with other people have been shown time and again to be important to the health and wellbeing of everyone. Isolation and few relationships have been shown to be as unhealthy as smoking 15 cigarettes a day (Brigham Young University, 2010).

Strong personal relationships have been shown to be an important factor in good health and wellbeing and a powerful help to people experiencing illness or other stresses.

Sometimes there can be concerns about exploitation or abuse in relationships and this can make services seem confused in supporting people. However having knowledge and confidence have been shown to help people avoid abuse or resist it and so it is important that services do make sure that they can support people to get good information and advice.

Statement of policy

It is the role of Adult Social Care to support relationships that are valued by the vulnerable people who need our help.

This will be done through the support given by Salford Health and Social Care and the services it provides and commissions and through help to access good sources of information and advice from other agencies and organisations.

This policy document sets out what it is that people supported by the city council should expect from us to help support their personal relationships.

Principles for service users

Close personal relationships are important to everyone. But in our society some things to do with relationships can be difficult to talk about. This can be specially so in sexual relationships. The principles set out in this document are to let you, and the people supporting you from services, know what you can expect help with.

You may want to:

  • Find out how your body works and what the correct words are.
  • Talk about how your body changes as you grow up or get older and how this may affect relationships.
  • Find out how to say "NO" if you don't want a relationship or wish to end it.
  • Talk about your feelings and have help to think things through.
  • Find out how the law can project you.
  • Help to ask your doctor about your health.
  • Find out about clinics that can help you if you have concerns.

Who can you ask?

You can ask your social care worker or health worker about growing older, sex and relationships. If they can't answer your questions they will find someone else to help who is a good source of advice.

All the people you can ask follow the rules set out in a policy. This tells them how they should behave, some helpful information and where they can go to get help.

What are your rights?

You have:

  • The same rights as anyone else of the same age.
  • The right to be treated with respect.
  • The right to find out about your body.
  • The right to a private and family life.
  • The right to get information about your feelings and the most helpful ways to express them.
  • The right to make and end relationships.
  • The right not to be sexually abused.
  • The right not to do something that makes you feel bad about yourself.
  • The right to marry.
  • The right to start a family.
  • The right to feel attracted to people of the other sex or same sex as you.

Getting information that you need

If you have any problems about sexual relationships your social care worker should make sure you get the right help. Your Worker may need help from other people to do this. They will seek this help.

When you get information it should be given to you in a way you can understand. This may mean getting it on tape or video or getting someone to spend extra time explaining things to you.

Keeping safe

You have the right to feel safe.

  • You may need to learn how to keep safe.
  • You may not feel safe and need someone to talk to.
  • Someone may be hurting you or making you feel bad.

Your social care worker will help you to keep safe and will get help. They will listen to you and respect what you say.

Your family

Your worker will listen to what your family says and help them get information and help if they need it.

Services will support you to keep your relationships with family members.

You do have a right to keep things private from your family or share information as you wish.

Your health

Your worker will help you find out about good sexual health.

If you are a woman you may need help in:

  • Getting a smear test.
  • Finding out about having a baby.
  • Finding out how not to have a baby.
  • Finding out about changes in your body as you grow older
  • Checking for lumps and bumps in your breast.

If you are a man you may need help in:

  • Checking your testicles for lumps and bumps.
  • How to have a baby with someone.
  • How not to have a baby with someone.
  • Finding out about changes in your body as you grow older

Both men and women may need help in:

  • Having sex safe from catching a disease.
  • Knowing if your body is working alright.
  • Coping with feelings.


There are people who can help you with relationships and your worker will help you get in touch with them.

Personal care

If you need help with having baths or showers, going to the toilet or getting dressed, this will be done in private.

If you prefer to be supported in personal care by a woman or man, services will do their best to do this

There are rules about this and your worker will tell you about them.


Some things must be kept private. Your worker will tell you if there are things they can't keep secret. If your worker is worried you could be hurt they may have to tell someone.

  • You will have your own private areas. People should not enter your room or home without asking you.  
  • You will have private space to be with a person you have a relationship with.
  • You need a private place if you want to have sex with someone. .
  • You may need help to decide whether you want to have sex with someone. Your worker can find the best person to help you decide about this.

You may want to enjoy sex on your own. You need a private place to do this.

  • If a magazine, book, DVD or videos about sex can be bought or borrowed from a shop you can ask your worker to help to get them.
  • You will need to look at these and keep them in private.
  • Your worker will explain to you if things need to be kept private.
  • Some people look for things using their computer on the internet. You and your worker will have to get advice about this.

Rules for your worker

The person working to support you must not be your girlfriend or boyfriend and they must not have sex with you.

If you are having problems with the person working with you, it is very important to tell someone you trust.

All health and care professions are covered by a code of practice from the Health and Care Professions Council which means that they must behave professionally and stick to the rules set out in the code. In addition social care workers are bound by the Policies and Procedures of Salford Health and Social Care.

Adult social care is now provided by Northern Care Alliance

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