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Release:

Local Area Coordination report out 14 June 2012

From service user to citizen

Local Area Coordination is a new report published by The Centre for Welfare Reform.

It will be published on 14th June 2012

Local Area Coordination is an exciting innovation whose time has come. Local Area Coordination works by embedding well-trained professionals within a local community, to help local people avoid exclusion, isolation and to prevent need. It helps people focus on their own vision for the future, and uses all that the community has to offer, to help them achieve it.

Local Area Coordination originally began in Western Australia, it has now been extended across Australia and beyond. There are now four pilot sites in England, with further sites coming on stream in the coming months.

Currently the "front end" of the current social care system is focused on crisis, assessment, eligibility and service delivery. Local Area Coordination shifts the focus towards prevention, capacity-building, connections, and local community solutions.

Local Area Coordination provides a single, local and accessible point of contact - irrespective of age or of service label. It provides an opportunity to reform and simplify the current social and healthcare system and to make services more personal, flexible and local.

This report outlines the values, models and approaches necessary to implement Local Area Coordination in England and Wales. It includes local stories, powerful evidence from international studies and an exploration of the opportunities created for public service reform. These ideas should be at the heart of any Social Care White Paper.

Ralph Broad is the author of the report and also Director of Inclusive Neighbourhoods, which is leading national work on Local Area Coordination. Ralph said:

"Local Area Coordination has had a powerful and positive impact in Australia and is now being implemented in many other countries, including England. If developed with integrity, it could be an essential part of a reformed welfare system. In England, things are just beginning; but there is a growing belief that Local Area Coordination is critical to helping people stay strong, and to building more inclusive and welcoming communities."

Dr Simon Duffy, Director of The Centre for Welfare Reform, said:

"It is time to stop under-estimating the power and competence of ordinary people and our local communities. To invest in Local Area Coordination, instead of institutional service solutions, would show a real commitment to move beyond the rhetoric of localism."

Interested journalists should contact The Centre for Welfare Reform in order to receive an advance copy of the report.

For more information about The Centre for Welfare Reform go here: press information

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