RESOURCES

Support Interview Guide (2000)

The Support Interview Guide (SIG), developed and trialed over a number of years, is designed to assist parents with an intellectual disability describe their social network to service providers. Because perceived social support is a strong indicator of health, the SIG focuses on the parent’s perceptions of their support network. Specifically, it considers three key issues

  • the quantity and composition of the support network , that is, the people who provide support;
  • structural characteristics of this network for example the frequency of contact between the mother and her support people, how close they live and so on; and
  • functional characteristics, that is, the types of support provided.

The SIG also incorporates design features such as graphics and colour to minimize the literacy skills required to use the SIG effectively.

This Support Interview Guide can also be downloaded as a PDF document. You will need Adobe Acrobat Reader to view the SIG.

Support Interview Guide (2000)

1. The first thing we need to do is list the names of people who support/help you, and people who you turn to for support/help when you need it. We are not going to list the names of everyone you know, just those people who support/help you most (no more than 10 people). Think of people that you talk to when you are worried, angry, or upset. Think of people who help you in practical ways, like filling out forms, lending you money, or baby-sitting. Think of people who you go to for advice or information. Think of people you like to go out with, or just spend time with. We are going to write their names in the segments of this pie.

support network chart

2. Now we're going to put the names of those same people onto another chart. This time, we are arranging them according to the type of support they give you. We have divided support into 4 different types.
Show support cards. (Explain each type of support to parents and ask them for another example to check their understanding.)

For each of the support people we have talked about, what kind of support do they provide (each person can provide more than one type of support). We will write their names in those sections of the circle.

support type

3. Now we're going to put the names of those same people onto another chart. This time, we are arranging them according to how close you feel to them. In the inner circle (1), let us put the names of the people who you are so close to, that it is hard to imagine life without them. In the middle circle (2), let us put the names of people who are not that close but are still very important, and in the outer circle (3) let us put the names of people who are not as close as those in the middle circle but are still a support to you.

closeness

4. Now let's look at each of these people in turn. Let's list them, from closest to most distant.

Name What is their specific relationship to you? How far away do they live from you? How often do you see them? How often do you speak with them on the phone? How long have you known them? Do you feel comfortable asking for support from/ Do you feel comfortable receiving support from/ Who usually helps who?
Instruc-
tions & Example
e.g. brother, friend Red Cards

Blue
Cards

Blue
Cards
Yellow Cards Green Cards Green Cards Purple Cards
                 
                 
                 
                 
                 
                 
                 
                 
                 
                 

A
(1) Nearby (walking distance)
A
(2) Not far (i.e. a short/easy trip by car or public transport)
A
(3) Far (i.e. a long or difficult trip)
B
(1) Every day
D
(1) More than once a week
B
(2) A little uncomfortable
B
(3) Weekly
B
(4) Fortnightly
B
(5) Monthly
B
(6) A few times a year
B
(7) Maybe once a year
C
(1) Less than 3 months
C
(2) 3-12 months
C
(3) 1-5 years
C
(4) More than 5 years
D
(1) Not at all comfortable
D
(2) A little uncomfortable
D
(3) Comfortable
D
(4) Very comfortable
E
(1) They mostly help you
E
(2) You help each other
E
(3) You mostly help them

info cards

The Support Interview Guide is based on a number studies including
House, Umberson & Landis, 1988
Tracey & Whittaker, 1990
Llewellyn, McConnell & Bye, 1995
Llewellyn, McConnell, Cant & Westbrook, 1998

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