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Local Area Coordination - Frequently asked Questions

Frequently asked questions about Local Area Coordination.

What is Local Area Coordination?

Local Area Coordination is a long-term, evidence-based approach to supporting people (children and adults) who may be isolated, excluded or who face challenges due to age, disability or mental health condition, and their families and carers to:

  • Stay strong, safe and connected as contributing citizens
  • Build more welcoming, inclusive and supportive communities
  • Build partnerships with local people, communities, organisations and services - nurturing and sharing the resources within our communities and ensuring that disabled people, people with mental health problems, older people families and carers are active, valued members.

How is Local Area Coordination different?

People often talk about how the social care and health system can be complicated to navigate; when there are lots of people responsible for doing different things it can be confusing. Sometimes, services aren't set up to offer preventative help, and are only able to respond in a crisis.

Local Area Coordination creates a single accessible point of contact in a local community, and is designed to support people to avoid a crisis in the first place.

Local Area Coordinators work alongside people (both children and adults who may be disabled, have mental health problems or be older, and their families and carers) in the local community.

Local Area Coordinators take a preventative approach; they take time to get to know individuals and families, their local communities and service partners and help people to:

  • Explore what's important to them—an individual's personal vision for a good life and ways of getting there.
  • Identify, nurture and use/share their personal strengths, skills, experiences and those of their communities.
  • Find practical solutions to problems wherever possible.

Local Area Coordination aims to build on the contribution, passion and resources that exist in our local communities, plus help all people (including disabled people, people with mental health problems and older people) to be part of it.

It values and nurtures individual and family leadership - people are the experts in their own lives and it supports the contribution of all citizens.

Local Area Coordination focusses on:

  • the talents, skills and resources within our local communities
  • strengthening community capacity, (and less on funding)
  • the importance of planning for and having confidence in the future, personal networks and community connections
  • supporting people to develop practical ways of reaching life aspirations - choice & control
  • creating more welcoming, inclusive and accessible communities.

What does a Local Area Coordinator do?

A Local Area Coordinator is based locally and is a single, accessible point of contact for people in their local community.

They take time to get to know individuals, families and communities well, building a  positive and trusting relationship.

They are a resource to anyone in the community for "light touch" information, advice or connections to local resources.

They will support between 50-65 individuals (children and adults) and their families, who may benefit from longer term support, to

  • Understand their needs and nurture their strengths, talents, skills, and experiences
  • Access accurate, relevant and timely information
  • Build a positive vision and plan for the future
  • Build and maintain valued, mutually supportive relationships
  • Be part of, and actively contribute to, community life
  • Be heard - through self-advocacy, by advocating alongside people, advocating for people if no other options
  • Find practical, non-service solutions to issues and problems wherever possible
  • Access, navigate and control supports and services, if these are required.

Where are Local Area Coordinators working in Swansea?

We started with three Local Area Coordinators in June 2015, and we have now expanded to five.

The Local Area Coordinators are in:

  • Central Swansea —  St. Thomas & Bonymaen (including Danygraig and Port Tennant, SA1 Waterfront, and Pentrechwyth), Local Area Coordinator: Dan Morris
  • Central Swansea — City Centre (including Mount Pleasant, Sandfields, Dyfatty, Brunswick), Local Area Coordinator: Claire Jones
  • West Swansea —  Sketty (including Sketty Park, Derwen Fawr and Tycoch), Local Area Coordinator: Jon Franklin.
  • North Swansea — Gorseinon (including Garden Village, Kingsbridge and Loughor), Local Area Coordinator: Ronan Ruddy
  • North Swansea Pontarddulais (including Penyrheol, Penllergaer, Grovesend and Waun Gron, Pontlliw, Tircoed, Garnswllt, Felindre / Mawr), Local Area Coordinator: Richard Davies

How do I contact a Local Area Coordinator?

You can contact your Local Area Coordinator in a variety of ways including:

  • Dropping in to se them - they are based in a variety of local venues in each area - please contact them for details.

What sort of person becomes a Local Area Coordinator?

Local Area Coordinators are recruited by their local community, in partnership with services, and they:

  • Need to be good listeners
  • Focus on helping people to stay strong, be in control and feel more confident in the future
  • Value the talents, skills and contribution of all citizens, including disabled people, people with mental health problems, older people and their families / carers.
  • Have strong values about inclusion and communities
  • Focus on local solutions , helping people, families and communities stay strong
  • Value relationships

Local Area Coordinators come from a range of backgrounds including:

  • Community development
  • Social Work
  • Health
  • Housing
  • Youth work
  • Education etc.

How are they selected?

We work with local people, including disabled people, people with mental health problems, older people, families/carers and the wider community, to find the right person together.

What difference does Local Area Coordination make?

There have been many studies in different parts of the UK and internationally over the past 28 years.

These have shown that, where it is done properly and there is strong leadership and real community contribution, Local Area Coordination leads to consistent, positive outcomes. These include:

  • People feeling safer and more confident in the future
  • Individuals having more friends and supportive relationships
  • People finding practical, local ways of solving problems or dealing with crises
  • Having better access to information, so increasing choice and control
  • Being able to be part of and contributing to local communities
  • Having better knowledge of resources in local communities
  • Better access to services, if these are required
  • Families and carers able to continue their caring role
  • Good partnership working with community resources and services

How can people get involved and contribute to this?

We are keen to meet people who are interested in their local community and Local Area Coordination.

Please contact Jane Tonks for more information on 01792 636645, email Jane.Tonks@swansea.gov.uk or local.areacoordination@swansea.gov.uk.

 

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