Local area co-ordination

Local area co-ordination (LAC) is an innovative approach to supporting people who are vulnerable through age, frailty, disability or mental health issues achieve their vision for a good life, to support people to contribute to their communities and to strengthen the capacity of communities to welcome and include people.

LAC is built on the assumption that people who may be vulnerable due to age, disability or mental health needs are not just 'passive recipients' of social and health care, but have expertise, gifts, strengths that can help them achieve their vision for a good life, contribute to their local communities and "maximise the impact of resources".1

LAC also promotes cultural change and contributes to, and drives reform of, the existing service system, making services more personal, flexible, accountable and efficient.

The essence of LAC makes social care services and supports more personal, local, flexible and accountable, and thereby to build and strengthen informal support and community self sufficiency.

It aims to move the front end of the service system/primary source of support from assessment, money and services to prevention, helping people to stay strong and supporting practical solutions.

Evaluations of LAC in Australia have suggested a 30% reduction in costs and provide, "value-for-money outcomes not matched by any other areas of disability service delivery (in Australia)... LAC provides more supports to more people, with a high level of satisfaction, at a cost that is more likely to be able to be afforded by [the Australian] Government."2

1 E Bartnik (2008) in P Gregg and G Cooks (Eds) (2010) 'Putting people in control: reforming the system of support for disabled people', in Liberation Welfare', London, Demos, p. 118.
2 S Clark and R Broad (2011) 'Location Area Co-ordination in England' Inclusive Neighbourhoods and Inclusion North, England, p 8.