Learning disabilities

Many people with learning disabilities aspire to live in their own home. With the right support, this aspiration can become a reality.

We are specialists in supporting individuals with high level learning disabilities, complex needs and behaviour that challenge.

We work closely with each individual, their family and carers to identify and work towards the goals that are important to them – build independent living skills, manage and maintain their homes and become part of their local communities.

We support people to develop independent living skills.

Hear from our staff and customers who share about our services and their experiences

We’ve developed a number of services that respond to the NHS’s Building the Right Support Agenda.

These services support individuals who have been living in hospital, secure facilities or Assessment and Treatment Units, often out of borough. Many will have complex, profound and multiple disabilities and behaviour that can significantly challenge.

We work with commissioners and clinicians to offer tailored support packages and property solutions in both group and individual settings. We support people to resettle from long-stay hospital accommodation after many years and live more independently, closer to their families and communities.

Some of our customers have previously been in secure settings for upwards of twenty years, people like Natasha.

Read Natasha's Story

We provide a number of registered care services for individuals with learning disabilities and additional needs. These include physical and sensory disabilities, long term conditions and mental health needs.

We can also provide medication support, both in our care homes and our other registered services.

Most of our customers with learning disabilities are helped through our supported living services. The level of support varies dependent on people’s needs – we can offer everything from 24-hour support to a few hours a day.

Sometimes we provide the support in a property where we are the landlord, other times we deliver our service in a building owned and managed by others.

These services are often for individuals who may be stepping down from residential care, or higher support accommodation placements. They aim to support customers to further develop their independent living skills in a safe, supportive environment.

Our floating and visiting support services support people in their own homes. Customers may have varying levels of disability, including physical and sensory needs and live in different types of accommodation.

These services provide a wide range of day activities and work closely with the local community to support people to get involved. These include different health and wellbeing, leisure and educational activities.

We work with people with a range of needs, those who attend both with or without carer support and can provide both transport support and/or travel training.

We work closely with commissioners, families and local authorities to bring customers home from secure hospital settings, where they may have lived upwards of 15 years.

Click here to read their journeys.

Our services

Look Ahead provides 20 specialist services for nine local authorities and NHS Trusts, many of these are registered with the Care Quality Commission. Across these services, we work with over 350 individuals with a broad range of learning disabilities, autism and Asperger’s syndrome.

In addition, we operate two learning disability subsidiaries as part of the Look Ahead Group.


Kingswood Care

Established in 1998, Kingswood Care provides support living, residential and domiciliary care for customers with learning disabilities and complex needs in Essex. Look Ahead acquired Kingswood Care in 2020.


Proactive Development

Proactive Development was established in 1994 by with a vision to deliver responsive services for people with complex needs. In 2019 Look Ahead acquired the organisation. As well as operating four residential services Proactive Development providing supporting living services in Kent.

Together we have over 40 years experience of supporting people to make choices, take control and move forwards with their lives through our Look Ahead approach, providing services that are personalised, co-produced and delivered in partnership with health.

Across our learning disability services, we do this by supporting each individual:

Through flexible, person centred support

Using assistive technology to support greater independence

Working in partnership with their family, carers and health partners

In modern high quality accommodation, bespoke to customer needs

Using appropriate augmentative and adaptive communication

To manage behaviour that challenges through our Positive Behaviour Support and Positive Relationship Management framework

Through support planning and Positive Relationship Management framework which helps customers achieve goals and access meaningful opportunities and experiences