Stronger together

Local Area Coordination is an innovative approach to supporting people with disabilities, mental health needs and older people (and their families/carers) to achieve their vision for a good life, to support people to be part of and contribute to their communities and to strengthen the capacity of communities to welcome and include people.

Originally developed in Western Australia in 1988, Inclusive Neighbourhoods built on the long term learning and introduced Local Area Coordination into England and Wales, developed the Local Area Coordination Network and subsequently established the Network as a Community Interest Company.

“Local Area Coordination is built on the assumption that people with disabilities, mental health needs, older people and their families are not just passive recipients of social and health care, but have expertise, gifts, strengths that can help them achieve their vision for a good life, contribute to their local communities and maximise the impact of resources.”
Bartnik 2008, adapted

Local Area Coordination is about:

  • Supporting people to stay strong and building welcoming, inclusive and mutually supportive communities.
  • Thinking and acting differently, with a greater focus on strengths, individual and family leadership, personal and community resilience.
  • Supporting people, irrespective of service labels, to build and pursue their vision for a good life as active and valued citizens in their local communities.
  • Social justice, inclusion and citizenship for all.
  • Positive assumptions and opportunities all citizens in our society, including those who are labelled, isolated or excluded in our communities.

Local Area Coordinators take time to build valued, trusting relationships with individuals, families and communities – they start with supporting people to build a vision for a good life and the ways they may get there. Services are the last part of the conversation.

We ask:

What is your vision for a good life and what are the ways that we make it happen?

A Positive Conversation About Gifts, Skills, Aspirations and Connections – 3 Questions

What can each person do for themselves using their gifts, skills and experiences?

How can friends family and community help?

What is the role of services and money?

Sometimes services are really important to people and the Local Area Coordinator helps them to

  • Access
  • Navigate
  • Choose
  • Control those services.

Self direction, self management, self determination

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