- Supporting people to contribute and do things they enjoy
Local Area Coordination Community capacity building and strengthening local connections
What is the problem this innovation solves?
Much of current service provision focuses on people’s deficits or particular condition label. Often support is not available until the person is in crisis & then only to meet the need that has a service solution already designed & available. Much of the support available to people is not place based or community rooted & often does not support people as contributors as well as clients.
Local Area Coordination is an evidence-based approach to supporting people as valued citizens in their communities. It enables people to pursue their vision for a good life and to stay safe, strong, connected, healthy, and in control.
Local Area Coordination works to:
- Provide an accessible point of contact in the local community
- Focus on people’s own visions for a good life beyond services or formal support
- Help people build on their own assets and natural supports before looking to service solutions
- Walk alongside people building their capacity (not dependency) for as long as both agree
- Build trusting relationships with individuals, wider community members and workers in organisations
- Ensure that the Coordinator is a well-connected, contributing member of the local community with a link back into the service system
- Support system reform by bringing together all partners
Considerable international & national evidence show predictable outcomes & cost impact. Examples include: Kingfishers (2016) Social value of local area coordination in Derby. A forecast social return on investment analysis for Derby city council. MEL Research (2016) Leicestershire evaluation and social return on investment. University of York (2019) York summative evaluation. The national evaluations are all available at: https://lacnetwork.org/evidence-base/
When designed to include the core elements, Local Area Coordination sites see reductions in isolation, visits to GP surgeries and A&E, referrals to Adult Social Care or Mental Health evictions and costs to housing, dependence on formal health & social services, safeguarding concerns – people leaving safeguarding sooner. A Social Return on Investment: £4 return for every £1 invested, and an increase in community connections and capacity.
Stage and spread (where it is/how much is there?)
Local Area Coordination has been a central part of the Western Australia system for 29 years & is in place internationally. As of July 2019, 11 areas in England and Wales are implementing Local Area Coordination into their core model, with more planned in the near future.
What would areas needs to have in place to make it happen?
Commitment to core elements of design & practice and developing cross system leadership through implementation will make the outcomes achieved predictable. Start small with 2 or 3 Local Area Coordinators & grow from there.
What would kill it?
Removing any of the core elements or leaving them weak reduces the impact and effectiveness, and therefore changes the outcomes. Trying to roll it out & not grow through relationships undermines it.