Health and social care

Thinking of connecting to a Local Area Coordinator?

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.

An informal programme

Local Area Coordination is an informal programme – we don’t have a formal referral procedure and prefer to say ‘people are introduced to us’ rather than ‘referred’. Read Frequently Asked Questions for more information.

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.

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 them.

We work in a strengths based way

Local Area Coordinators work in a strengths based and asset based way. We walk alongside people - to explore what community connections or contributions they might want to make based on individual strengths, valuing each person as equal, with a right to be included.

An integral part of system transformation

It simplifies the system and provides a single, accessible, local point of contact for people in their local community.

It is always useful to have a conversation about how we might be able to work together or ‘walk alongside’ you or the person you are thinking of introducing. A little background information can help establish the best way for the Local Area Coordinator to get in touch and where would be the best place to meet etc. As we are led by the person and very much walking alongside them, we do not need much more information than this. We start with a conversation and shared agreement with each individual, promoting choice and control.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I make an introduction?

There are no forms or complicated referral process – just get in touch via our contact details on the website or our leaflet. We don’t mind if this is by phone, email, Facebook or face to face at one of our drop ins – Live Well York. We are always happy to have a conversation and talk through a situation to see how we can help.

We can offer advice about who else might be able to help or share information about local connections that might be of interest within the community. The website has all our contact details and maps of the areas we cover here.

What exactly does a Local Area Coordinator do?

As we work in a person centred way, led by the people we are introduced to so this looks different for different people in different areas. Relating, communicating and building connections is at the heart of everything we do. We help people to find information, build support networks, navigate complex service systems and be heard. If you are not sure if we can help or how we might be able to please get in touch.

How does Local Area Coordination fit with statutory services?
Do you have formal, structured plans and do people have to work with you if they don’t want to?

We are not a formal statutory service. Local Area Coordination is based on informal relationships and the people we walk alongside have complete choice and control over what we do/don’t help them with. Together, with the people we walk alongside, we create shared agreements - exploring options and possibilities related to their idea of a good life.

This is a voluntary agreement and relationship, which the person can end or change at any time. We can work with people very short term and offer information, advice and signposting or longer term to a bespoke and creative person centred shared agreement.

This is urgent/time sensitive – how quickly can you get in touch?

There is one Local Area Coordinator to each area and we won’t respond urgently if we are on leave or have other commitments. We are not a crisis service and primarily an early intervention and prevention programme. If the matter is really urgent because things have reached crisis point we can get involved, but it might be good to consider whether another service is needed alongside our involvement.

We can usually be flexible if someone wants to have a conversation quickly and will do all we can to help in reasonable timeframes. Local Area Coordinators will aim to respond to introduction queries within 2-3 working days, however, as we are typically working with 50-60 individuals/families at any time, it may be a week or two before we can arrange to meet, sometimes longer.

We can discuss current timeframes in the initial conversation, prioritising on a case by case basis. It is also useful to remember we are not office based, but based out in communities so it is always best to contact us on our mobile phones, drop us an email or come along to one of our regular community drop ins. If you contact us via phone please leave a voicemail or text with your details and we will be in touch when we can.

I’m a professional - Can I make a referral with a list of what needs to happen or allocate you tasks on a care plan?

This is not how the Local Area Coordination approach works. We deliberately don’t have a formal referral process so there is no way of allocating a list of tasks on a form - If you are making the introduction on behalf of someone we will need to start with a conversation with them to see what is important to them and we will be directed by what they say needs to happen.

We work to shared agreements with the person which can complement formal care plans, support plans, FEHA’s etc, however, we would ask that you don’t write us in to these plans unless at the explicit request of the person at the centre of that plan and unless we are part of creating that plan together. 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 walking alongside the person/family.

How long will you work with someone?

Local Area Coordination isn’t time limited – we agree with each person how long we will be involved in their life walking alongside them and working towards the goals on our shared agreements. We try to help people build natural support networks and resilience until they feel they don’t need us around anymore. Depending on someone’s life circumstances this can look very different for different people. This also allows us to work at whatever pace the person is comfortable with.

What if I/the person I am introducing lives a street outside the ward boundary?

If someone lives very close to our area but is just outside, we sometimes have flexibility to meet with them – please ring us for a chat if in doubt.