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Local area co-ordination: strengthening support for people with learning disabilities in Scotland

Stalker, K. and Watson, J. and Barry, Monica and Malloch, M. (2008) Local area co-ordination: strengthening support for people with learning disabilities in Scotland. British Journal of Learning Disabilities, 36. pp. 215-219. ISSN 1354-4187

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Abstract

This paper reports the findings of a study commissioned by the Scottish Executive which examined the introduction and implementation of local area co-ordination (LAC) in Scotland. A questionnaire about their posts was completed by 44 local area co-ordinators, interviews were conducted with 35 local area co-ordinators and 14 managers and case studies of LAC practice were carried out in four local authorities. The study found both strengths and weaknesses in the implementation of LAC nationally. There was great unevenness across Scotland in the number of local area co-ordinators employed by local authorities and in their roles and remits. Progress in community capacity building was slow overall and some managers expressed mixed feelings about LAC's usefulness in a climate of scarce resources. Individuals and families, however, were very appreciative of the support received and there was evidence that LAC had made a positive difference to their lives; for example, in relation to increased inclusion, choice and formal and informal supports. Various proposals are made for supporting the future development of LAC.