Why we are updating Think Local Act Personal Partnership Agreement

Think Local Act Personal (TLAP) is nearing the end of its first three years of operation. Launched as a Partnership to drive forward work on personalisation and community-based support in April 2011, its strength has been strong, active groups of people and organisations, from all parts of the sector, working together to make an impact with the means available to us.

The Partnership has worked tirelessly over the last three years. We have sought to support work taking place locally by collectively highlighting progress and sharing learning from across England and we are now undertaking an evaluation to see what kind of difference we have made.

Time doesn't stand still though, and the world in which we operate has changed rapidly since the original partnership agreement was drafted. Sam outlined these changes in a blog he wrote earlier this year. At the risk of understating the point, the factors he talks about combine to make life very difficult for people. Therefore now feels like the right time to stop and check whether the vision spelt out in TLAP's original partnership agreement remains appropriate or whether it could benefit from a refresh.

So how are we going to do this?
TLAP's model for operation draws on the expertise and experience of people living and working with the social care sector to inform and deliver our work programme. It feels right to start by asking partnership members what they think should be included or excluded from a new agreement. However, we also know that this can be considered as us involving the usual suspects or just working with those who are easily engaged. That's not ok for us! We genuinely want to hear from as broad a range of people as possible, who can share their experience of what is happening in the sector, and help us translate that into useful action for the future.

We started this refresh process by asking people to tell us what they thought ahead of the Personalisation Summit in September. Since then, people have been writing and filming blogs offering their suggestions on what's next for personalisation. More will be published soon. In January we will hold structured online discussions using a hashtag and a panel (a first for me and TLAP!)

We will collate all feedback received via blogs, comments, tweets, videos, even ideas scribbled on napkins at events, analyse it for key themes and summarise these, before drafting a new partnership agreement (in February). This draft will be made publicly available on our website for further input throughout March, working towards a final refreshed document in April.

This is a genuine attempt to ask people for their help in writing this with us. I know the process will be a bit imperfect, and not as slick as ones with big teams behind them, but it will - we hope - involve many different voices and we do want to share what we learn about it all afterwards. We can't guarantee everything will make it in to the final version, and of course, all will be subject to TLAP's continued funding, but we can collectively set our vision of what's important for the next three years, and use that as the basis for the work moving forward.

How do I get involved?
Take a look at the blogs we've published already and please leave comments or tweet us on #TLAPrefresh. We're also open to people writing for us, just email it to thinklocalactpersonal@scie.org.uk and we'll include all contributions in the feedback analysis. Finally, keep your eyes peeled for the hashtag panel chats in the New Year and please do join in.


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