What is Local Area Coordination?

Local Area Coordination, initially developed in Western Australia in 1988, is a powerful innovation in the way in which people and families are supported within their communities to ensure everyone has enough support to be a full citizen.

It starts by taking time to get to know individuals (children and adults) and their families, understanding and respecting their gifts, skills and vision for a good life and thinking about ways of making it happen – step by step.

From Service User to Citizen

Rather than waiting for people to fall into crisis, assessing needs/deficits and testing eligibility for services, it walks alongside people, families and communities to build resilience, personal relationships, choice and control, contribution and local solutions

From waiting in negativity,

To a positive vision, a focus on strengths and aspirations, the value and power of self direction and welcoming, inclusive and supportive communities.

It’s about the rights and opportunities of active, valued Citizenship for all people in our communities.


The Local Area Coordination Vision

‘All people live in welcoming communities that provide friendship, mutual support, equity and opportunities for everyone’.

The Local Area Coordination Charter

‘To develop partnerships with individuals and families/carers as they build and pursue their goals and dreams for a good life and with local communities to strengthen their capacity to welcome, include and support all people as valued, contributing citizens.’ 

Local Area Coordination is built on 10 powerful principles:
The principle What it means in practice
Citizenship  All people in our communities have the same rights, responsibilities and opportunities to participate in and contribute to the life of the community, respecting and supporting their identity, beliefs, values and practices.
Relationships Families, friends and personal networks are the foundations of a rich and valued life in the community.
Natural Authority  People and their families are experts in their own lives, have knowledge about themselves and their communities and are best placed to make their own decisions.
Lifelong learning All people have a life-long capacity for learning, development and contribution.
Information  Access to accurate, timely and relevant information supports informed decision-making, choice and control.
Choice and Control Individuals, often with support of their families and personal networks, are best placed to lead in making their own decisions and plan, choose and control supports, services and resources.
Community  Communities are further enriched by the inclusion and participation of all people and these communities are the most important way of building friendship, support and a meaningful life.
Contribution We value and encourage the strengths, knowledge, skills and contribution that all individuals, families and communities bring.
Working together Effective partnerships with individuals/families, communities and services are vital in strengthening the rights and opportunities for people and their families to achieve their vision for a good life, inclusion and contribution.
Complementary Nature of Services Services should support and complement the role of individuals, families and communities in supporting people to achieve their aspirations for a good life
Local Area Coordination:

Starts at the start – a Local Area Coordinator, from within their own local community, provides information, advice, nurtures connections and support to help people pursue their vision for a good life, solve their own problems and be part of and contribute to community life.

Asks the right questions – instead of focusing on deficits the Local Area Coordinator helps people focus on their own vision for a good life, building on their own assets and relationships.

Acts as a bridge to community – embedded in, and connected with, the community, the Local Area Coordinator builds real relationships with people, the local community and its multiple resources, spotting and creating new opportunities.

Transforms local systems – the Local Area Coordinator helps people make good use of necessary services and helps to transform the impact of services on local communities.

Local Area Coordination:
  • builds individual, family and community resilience,
  • increases choice and control,
  • has a stronger focus on individual and family leadership, inclusion and contribution
  • emphasises strengthening individual, family and community capacity and less on funding;
  • supports self direction,
  • improves structural/systems flexibility
  • drives cultural change to ensure decision making is ‘in the hands of people with disabilities, mental health needs, older people, their families and carers’.
  • contributes to the promotion of welcoming, inclusive, supportive and accessible communities.
Local Area Coordination focuses on supporting people (children and adults) and their families and carers to:
  • build a vision for ‘a good life’ that is individual to them;
  • stay strong engaged and healthy;
  • build family, relationship and community networks;
  • be part of, connected with and contribute to home and community life;
  • feel safe, secure and confident in the future;
  • have greater choice, control and self-sufficiency.
  • nurture local, practical, low cost/no cost solutions wherever possible in the first instance