Power and Connection
The International development of Local Area Coordination
Local Area Coordination is one of the most important and promising social innovations in the world today, with 30+ years of evidence spanning multiple countries and population groups across social care and health/mental health.
This book provides an up-to-date account of the evolution of Local Area Coordination since its beginnings in Western Australia in the late 1980s. It summarises all of the relevant research and identifies the key developmental strategies necessary for successful implementation.
The book's authors, Eddie Bartnik and Ralph Broad, are two of the leading figures in the international development of Local Area Coordination and the book is supplemented by research and stories from many other practitioners and researchers. The book also includes the stories of people who have experienced the positive impact of Local Area Coordination.
Building on the original core Western Australia Local Area Coordination foundations and framework, the last five years have seen an exciting period of intensive international learning, adaptation and growth. This includes moving towards a 'whole community' approach, ensuring easier access and no barriers to early help, increasing reach across the whole system and emerging international collaboration, mutual support and shared learning. This learning has also further improved the understanding and embedding of broader elements, or building blocks, of design and implementation. These are critical to effectively 'getting started', building authentic relationships with people, families, communities and service partners and, importantly, consistency of outcomes, influence, scaling up and sustainability.
Chapters in the book are organised to highlight the key themes that underpin the sustained Local Area Coordination international development. These themes include clarity of the purpose and international history of Local Area Coordination (Chapter 1), the 'must haves' of the Local Area Coordination Framework and the maturing connection to whole system reform (Chapter 2), the building blocks for ensuring fidelity and embedding sustainability (Chapter 3), stories of change and impact (Chapter 4), the growing evidence base to sustain 'A Leap of Fact' (Chapter 5), new horizons as a whole community approach, in new countries and as a key community and service resource in a time of pandemic (Chapter 6) and the critical importance of leadership development and learning networks (Chapter 7).
The authors end by sharing their vision of a 5-year plan for Local Area Coordination in a post COVID-19 world, alongside people and families, embedded in community and in partnership with formal services.
Advocates of Local Area Coordination:
Dr Michael Kendrick ‘Letting in the Light’: “The very fact that Local Area Coordination has both been transported into quite different governmental systems and has continued to innovate and evolve, is a striking endorsement of its potential adaptive capacities and the ultimate worth of its vision for the people it is trying to support.”
Professor Donna Hall CBE of New Local: “If we are to support a whole system social movement, we need to work together to embed Local Area Coordination across public services.”
Al Etmanski founder of Planned Lifetime Advocacy Network (PLAN): “This book offers those wanting to ‘Build Back Better’ after the pandemic practical solutions that have stood the test of time.”
Dr Simon Duffy of Citizen Network: “Care is primarily a function of relationships, not services. Local Area Coordination provides a brilliant point of leverage to help shift our energy from pointless system reorganisations towards active support for citizen and community leadership.”
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