West Berkshire Council

New Ways of Working in Adult Social Care

Follow Alison's story as she works with the local community

To help develop what we also describe as our 'New Way's of Working', we are looking at how we connect our teams to the communities they serve.

Key to our work is continually discovering, engaging and supporting the resources that are already there.

We've adopted the three tier conversation model to underpin our work.

The first question of our three tier conversation model is:

"Are we connecting people to things that make their life work without us?"

Adult Social Care Recruitment - lady in a wheelchair chatting in a cafe Displays a larger version of this image in a new browser window
Adult Social Care Recruitment - lady in a wheelchair chatting in a cafe

Alison is a Social Care Practitioner in one of our locality teams, who has been looking at how Adult Social Care can develop better links with the local communities they serve and support. As part of her work Alison has linked up with a local cafe that supports a local initiative called 'Coffee Companions', a social enterprise set up to help people create contacts and build healthy communities. Like many good things, it all starts with a cup of coffee. It's about putting the paper down, switching off the phone and making time for you and for others. Customers simply place a 'chat mat' on the table to let people know whether they would like company or not.

Adult Social Care Recruitment - image of a 'chat mat' Displays a larger version of this image in a new browser window
Adult Social Care Recruitment - image of a 'chat mat'
Adult Social Care Recruitment - a social woker being shown around the Community Spirit Charity Shop Displays a larger version of this image in a new browser window
Adult Social Care Recruitment - a social woker being shown around the Community Spirit Charity Shop

Alison has also linked up 'Community Spirit, a local not-for-profit shop uses the money it make from voluntary donations to support those in financial need in Thatcham.

Alison said:

"The more we know about what is going on in our communities, the easier it is for us to link the people we work with into those activities. It might not sound much to some people, but if you spend a lot of time alone, then a cup of coffee and a chat can make all the difference. The New Way of Working takes a simple but effective approach. Work as a real part of a community is the best way to understand not only what people really want and need and it's so brilliant when we find that existing facilities are already well on the way to providing that."

The second tier of our model is about not making long term plans in a crisis and this is about supporting workers to make a more flexible intervention that can give a service user time and space to stabilise their lives.

The third tier of the model is how we support those that will need a longer term package of support.

See more about pdf icon our different teams and how we work with our communities [355kb].

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