The practical resource to link individuals to existing services and to broker engagement from local agencies
- There is more than one way to provide the ‘hands-on’ coordination needed, but research often points to the importance of a single, consistent and trusted point of contact. This may sit independently, within existing services, or as part of a multi-disciplinary team. Have you thought about how this can be created in your local area?
Whichever model you choose, have you ensured that those leading on coordination:
- Have the right skills? They need to understand the whole system, be highly respected by clients and services, and be able to operate at the individual and strategic level. You need to pay well to get the best people!
- Have a clear cross-sector mandate from the partnership to be ‘service neutral’ and to work outside single organisational boundaries (“a remit to have no remit”)? Without this, their work will sink back into organisational silos. Consider getting those leading on coordination to report to the partnership rather than a particular service. It’s important that neither clients nor agencies should associate those leading on coordination with any existing service
- Have the time and flexibility to build trust with clients and to develop bespoke packages of support based around clients’ needs and aspirations rather than the needs of services? Small caseloads are vital for this, allowing plenty of client contact time. Information from a range of agencies can be easily communicated to clients via a single point of contact.
- Have the ability to follow clients across their journey, regardless of changes in tenancy or periods of hospitalisation or imprisonment?
- Have the seniority to request flexible responses from local agencies, with clear lines to managers and commissioners?
- Have a clear role to broker support packages from agencies and to support local services to ‘re-engage’ with previously excluded clients?
- Have the ultimate aim to better coordinate existing services, not develop a new one?