16th July 2012 – New TLAP Paper – “Unlocking the Real Wealth of People and Communities”
Think Local Act Personal published a new paper by Catherine Wilton “Volunteering – Unlocking the Real Wealth of People and Communities”.
It cites Local Area Coordination as a key approach for supporting local people to “contribute to their communities, strengthen the capacity of communities to welcome and include people, identify gaps in services and support organisations to work better together” (p.8).
There is now a growing realisation that Local Area Coordination provides the opportunity to not only come alongside local people to help build and pursue their vision for a good life and to strengthen communities, but also to work at the individual, family and community levels to start connecting people with local resources, nurturing new local resources and mutual support possibilities and be a catalyst for wider systems change (as the new single point of contact for local people/front end of the system) and service reform (making services more personal, local, flexible and relevant to local people). See the recent paper on Local Area Coordination “From Service Users to Citizens” for more information – http://www.centreforwelfarereform.org/library/by-date/local-area-coordination.html
A good read and an important progression in exploring the opportunities and possibilities of abundant resources, natural mutual supports and expertise in our local communities.
This was also reinforced at the TLAP Building Community Capacity meeting in London on 16th July – much energy in the room for real, citizen led reform
11th July 2012 – White Paper Out Now – “Caring for our Future; Reforming Care and Support”
This week saw the publication of the government White Paper—”Caring for our future; Reforming care and support.” Although still heavily focused on assessment, services and funding, there is an emerging realization of the need for real reform, not just tinkering with services
It was therefore encouraging and positive to see Local Area Coordination and ABCD and the valuable role of communities and citizens gaining attention.
The next step is to make it happen and to start to shift the balance from services to citizenship and local solutions.
This is no longer just a “nice thought”—it is a necessity. If people really do believe in the possibilities and resources of local people, we need to actually do something about it and not continue to just think services will solve everyone’s problems
Local Area Coordination – People, Places, Possibilities – Building Resilience, Reforming services
There is a growing realisation that LAC provides powerful opportunities for coming alongside local citizens, nurturing/sharing gifts, building resilience, unlocking community resources and bringing people and communities together. Additionally, as the “front end” of the service system, it provides the context and catalyst for service reform and systems change. This, at a time where there are further, intense pressures on social care and health budgets.
This reinforces the urgent need to start thinking and acting differently and highlights the contribution LAC and strength based approaches can make in the future.
So, do we want to continue to wait for crises to happen and then focus on service responses, or will we take real steps to re balance the system and focus on prevention and strengthening local people, families and communities? A big but very obvious choice.