BACKGROUND:Quality of life of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities has been found to primarily depend on whether staff are providing facilitative and enabling support that helps to compensate for severity of disability. Managers have a key role in facilitating staff to provide such support. METHOD:Qualitative interviews were conducted with 35 managers of supported accommodation services to explore service aims and the nature of, and challenges in providing, skilled support. Key themes were identified using a Thematic Networks Analysis. RESULTS:Service aims were rarely formalised, were related to the individuals supported and not to the organisation. Managers found it difficult to define skilled support, other than by reference to individuals. Practice leadership roles were challenged as a result of austerity measures. CONCLUSIONS:Front-line managers need more information and training in skilled support, with stronger leadership from senior management to provide the motivation and resources needed.