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This tool helps to think about what kind of support a person wants and needs and what skills and characteristic a good support person should have. The goal is to get a good match between those who need support and those who offer (paid) support. This tool can be used to develop a “job description” and recruit paid staff or to think about natural, unpaid support in the community.

The tool uses four headings:

  1. support wanted and needed – What are the areas or activities where the person needs and wants support?
  2. skills needed – What are the skills that a support person needs to support the person by that activity
  3. personality characteristics needed  - What are personal characteristics of the support person that would make a good match with the task and the supported person? What qualities must they have? What would be good to have
  4. shared common interests – What are the things and activities the support person should be also excited about?

The most important part of this is the box where personality characteristics are recorded. 
A good match is very important for the quality of life for people who are dependent on others for support. It makes people more satisfied with the support they receive and the work they do. In consequence it reduces turn-over of staff.


A template (see graphic) for the recruitment tool you will find on the website and here.

The short description of the method in the minibook person centred thinking you find here.

An explanation of the matching staff tool and examples you can also find on the website of Helen Sanderson Associates


SANDERSON, Helen & GOODWIN, Gill (2007): Person Centred Thinking Stockport: HSA Press.