Strength-based practice in Lincolnshire

Featured article - 20 December 2017
By Glen Garrod, executive director of adult care and community wellbeing at Lincolnshire County Council

Head-shot of the author, Glen Garrod, executive director of adult care and community wellbeing at Lincolnshire County Council

Lincolnshire has faced many housing and benefit related challenges during 2017, including increasing homelessness, the impending introduction to Universal Credits, and legislative policies – all impacting on the future of supported housing for vulnerable people.

With the County Council already committing and investing to a 'Housing for Independence' programme and with increasingly strong local partnerships with and between districts and other local organisations, we are in a good position to move into 2018 with a clearer direction of overcoming these challenges. A housing, health and care delivery group has been formed under the Health & Wellbeing Board, chaired by a twin-hatter Councillor (District and County). These have contributed to Lincolnshire being one of the first counties to be at the forefront of collectively prioritising housing.

Social impact bond

In 2017 Lincolnshire was one of only eight counties selected to receive a social impact bond of £1.3m. This funding is being utilised on the Action Project supporting 120 of the most entrenched rough sleepers. Lincolnshire is also the first county to go live with the project using the evidence base of existing Housing Related Support services.

Other items within the Housing integration agenda include:

  • Joint Strategic Needs Assessment
  • Dedicated resources for housing officers to support hospital discharges – acute and no-acute
  • A needs analysis of people who are considered 'hoarders'
  • The modernisation of the Disabled Facilities Grants
  • The launch of a 5 year homeless strategy with a range of partners supported by a delivery plan
  • The Homelessness Reduction Act 2017 being implemented in April 2018.

More challenges around the housing agenda will arise in 2018; the county as a whole is committed to ensuring it remains a priority for the people of Lincolnshire.

Strengths-based practice

We recognise people have challenges in their lives, but they also have strengths and goals. The role of health and social care is to build a relationship with people, to understand what they wish to achieve and support them to have the best possible outcomes in their lives.

Key to our success in 2018 and beyond is supporting staff in both health and social care to recognise the benefits of this approach and to empower them to change the way they practice in the face of changing demographics, limited resources and technological innovations. Our ongoing engagement with health colleagues across Lincolnshire and with exciting initiatives such as 'Home First' and Transitional Care are all examples of how adult care is at the heart of the drive to embed a strengths-based way of working with, and supporting, people in Lincolnshire

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