Appreciative Inquiry Y&H ADASS

August 2021 – Dec 2021 – Yorkshire and Humberside ADASS – Appreciative Inquiry into learning from COVID Response:


COVID disrupted support to people with learning disabilities, but it was also a catalyst for creative approaches to care and support. The aims of thr project were to:

  1. facilitate a safe opportunity/space for council staff and their partners from across Yorkshire and the Humber region to join together to review the response across the region to how adults with learning disability were supported,  and
  2. 2. identify, record, celebrate and share innovation and learning that has (and is) taking place during the COVID-19 Pandemic and ensure that improvements to ongoing support for people to live their lives takes this experience and learning into account and to ensure all improvements are co-produced.

What we did

The inquiry process had four parts:

  1. A series of around 20 one to one or one to two interviews* - To gather a bank of stories abot innovations, learning, future aspirations, and proposals for improvement to feed into two group events for ASC staff, Staff of partner organisations and other key local stakeholders.
  2. A number of 1 :1 or group meetings with people with lived experience of learning disability and family carers.
  3. Group Event 1 - To undertake the discover and dream stages collectively and collaboratively.
  4. Group Event 2 - To undertake the design and deliver stages collectively and collaboratively.

What we found:

There were positive and negative impacts on care and support during COVID. Positives included 9/16 people consulted who want to continue to use virtual social work approaches and "Smart" working approaches (8/16). Improvement opportunities to build on include:

  • New personalised and risk-based approaches to enable early interventions
  • New virtual day activities offer in addition to the traditional options
  • Improved relationships with partners e.g. providers and the NHS
  • Improved relationships within Council e.g. other departments