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Health and social care

Local Area Coordinators

How Local Area Coordinators work to help you

Our Local Area Coordinator (LAC) case studies provide examples of the kind of work Local Area Coordinators do.

We've also got information on how LAC:

You can also find out how quickly a LAC can help you and how LAC works with other professionals.


An established approach

Local Area Coordination is an established approach to supporting people in their communities. Local Area Coordinators are driven by a set of values and principles to help people stay safe, strong, connected, healthy and in control.

We can offer advice about who else might be able to help you, or share information about local connections that might be of interest within your community.

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An informal programme

Local Area Coordination is an informal programme (not a statutory service), there are no forms to complete, and no complicated referral process – just get in touch by telephone, email, social media, or in person at a 'drop-in'.

We're always happy to have a conversation (known as an 'introduction') and talk through ayour situation to see how we can help.

Local Area Coordination is based on informal relationships:

  • we 'walk alongside' you
  • you have complete choice and control over what we do/don’t help you with
  • we create shared agreements, exploring options and possibilities related to your idea of 'a good life'
  • you can end or change the 'voluntary' agreement/relationship at any time
  • we can work with you for a very short time to offer information, advice and signposting, or we can work with you longer term to a bespoke and person-centred shared agreement

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A place based approach

Local Area Coordination is a place based approach, which means that Local Area Coordinators cover distinct geographical areas. The only eligibility criteria we have is you/the person you are introducing need to be a resident in an area we cover and want to have a conversation. Unfortunately we don’t yet cover every area of York – you can see which areas we cover in the LAC directory.

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A flexible and person-centred approach

Local Area Coordination is a flexible and person centred approach. We work with individuals and families in a holistic way to identify steps, and take action towards, achieving whatever a good life looks like for you.

Relating, communicating and building connections is at the heart of everything we do:

  • how we support you will depend on your needs and circumstances
  • we can help you to find information, build support networks, navigate complex service systems, and be heard
  • there's no time limit; how long we'll be involved depends on goals and ;shared agreements we're working together towards
  • we'll work at whatever pace you're comfortable with

We try to help you build a natural support network and resilience until you feel you don’t need us around anymore; depending on your life circumstances this can be very different for different people - if you're not sure if we can help, or how we might be able to, please get in touch.

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We work in a strengths-based way

Local Area Coordinators work in a strengths based and asset based way.

We 'walk alongside' you to explore what community connections or contributions you might want to make based on your individual strengths. We value you as equal, with a right to be included.

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An integral part of system transformation

Local Area Coordination simplifies the system and provides a single, accessible, local point of contact for you in your local community.

It's always useful to have a conversation about how we might be able to work together or ‘walk alongside’ you.

A little background information helps your Local Area Coordinator to establish the best way to get in touch and the best place to meet. Then, led by you, we can start a conversation and 'shared agreement', promoting individual choice and control.

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How quickly Local Area Coordinators can help

Local Area Coordinator not a crisis service; it's an early intervention and prevention programme.

If your situation has is urgent, because things have reached crisis point, your Local Area Coordinator can get involved but you should consider whether another service is needed alongside our involvement.

There is 1 Local Area Coordinator for each area. They can usually be flexible to have a conversation quickly, and will do all they can to help within reasonable timeframes, but you should consider that they:

  • won’t respond urgently (if on leave, or have other commitments)
  • aren't office based so leaving a mesasge is helpful
  • aim to respond to 'introduction queries' within 2 to 3 working days
  • typically work with 50 to 60 individuals or families at any time

It may be a week or 2 before a Local Area Coordinator can arrange to meet you, sometimes longer.

Local Area Coordinators will:

  • discuss current timeframes in your initial conversation
  • prioritise on a case-by-case basis

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Professionals working with LAC

You don't need a 'referal' to access Local Area Coordination.

A professional you're working with can make an 'introduction query' on your behalf, but your Local Area Coordinator will start with a conversation with you, to:

  • see what is important to you
  • be directed by what you think needs to happen

Local Area Coordinators (LAC) work to shared agreements, which can complement your formal care plan, support plan or Family Early Help Assessment (FEHA) if you have one.

However, Local Area Coordination should only be written into formal plans if:

  • you explicitly request this, and
  • your LAC is part of creating the plan with you

Starting with a ‘good life conversation’ is central to the Local Area Coordination model, so introducing us at a formal care planning meeting is not appropriate and detracts from the person-centred approach and 'walking alongside' you or your family.


Also see

Local Area Coordination

Local Area Coordination use a 'place-based approach', which means each coordinator covers a particular area of York.