Local Area Coordination is a ‘strengths-based’ approach (building on what’s strong in people’s lives and communities) originating in Australia that has developed globally over the course of 30+ years.
Local Area Coordinators are employed by councils, based in communities and are recruited together with the input of local people. After completing their induction and training, Local Area Coordinators proactively meet with individual citizens and whole families in their neighbourhoods, building trust and connection with people over time. This creates the conditions where people feel able to open up about what a good life would look like for them and any current issues and barriers that are stopping that, before planning the actions needed to make change happen.
Throughout this journey, Local Area Coordinators walk alongside people, encouraging them to recognise their own capabilities, gifts, community networks and the practical resources they already have around them before considering more formal supports and services.
Local Area Coordinators do not intervene, fix problems or do things for people, as we know from evidence that this takes away opportunities to learn new skills, and build independence and resilience. This only creates further dependence on formal services.
Local Area Coordination isn’t just a useful addition to existing preventative support, it gradually reforms the ‘front door’ of the local public service system, helping people to avoid, delay and reduce reliance on public services, transferring resources away from interventions which don’t work, into an approach which does.
In this video Glynn and his Local Area Coordinator Penny reflect on their relationship and the practical steps they took together towards positive change with Glynn in the lead. Watch our other videos here.