How partnership work and coproduction are creating new ways of working in a learning organisation
Authors: Anna Wilcox, Director of Services, Restart & Martin Schofield – Client Support Manager, Restart
The Restart service provides supported housing. Our specialism is working with the most vulnerable ex-offenders who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless. We recognise that often our clients have experienced a lifetime of personal challenges, which has significantly contributed to their circumstances. Our purpose is to support clients in addressing complex issues such as homelessness, offending behaviour, family and community relationships, unemployment, mental health, drug and alcohol dependency, learning and life skills, with the aim of achieving independent living.
In October of 2019 Saltbox appointed a new Director of Services. Our commitment to provide a holistic approach to meet the needs of our clients has seen a restructure of the Restart management team. This included placing a Quality and Development manager alongside our Client Support Manager to enhance the quality of the service. Our team includes 7 dedicated Support Workers, a property services team including a maintenance and domestic service, input from our Chaplain offering pastoral care, Work Coach for those clients who are seeking employment or training, and engagement with our Clinical Nurse, who provides substance misuse expertise. Our Client Development facilitator provides purposeful activity opportunities for clients throughout the week. Activities include the allotment, sailing club, trade-skills programs, training, trips and events. A newly appointed Family and Service Co-ordinator will work with clients who are at a stage in their journey to reconnect with relatives where relationships have broken down previously.
We value our good relationships with partner organisations. A key principle in our new outlook is to develop our partnership working across the city. Enabling of multi-agency working with clients ensures that those clients needing this intensive wrap around support approach receive the support that is needed.
VOICES is one of our key partners. They provide valued support in specific cases where multi-disciplinary partnership working is needed to provide increase assistance for the tenancy to be maintained. Our partnership continues to grow from strength to strength. One of the VOICES legacy projects facilitates cross-partnership and coproduction between our local Adult Social Care team, Restart, VOICES and Expert Citizens in the implementation of the VOICES Care Act Toolkit into our system and everyday practice. Post-training, the cohort will be assigned a VOICES Project Officer who is on-hand to answer questions and guide staff on how to use the toolkit until it becomes embedded into practice. VOICES are working with several organisations across the city on this project.
Another part of VOICES work that we value is the Citywide Learning Programme. This has allowed us to upskill and refresh our staff teams knowledge’s to ensure the very best outcomes for our clients. On an occasion of staff attending one of VOICES courses recently, they were able to use the skills learnt the very next day helping a complex client who had hit crisis point.
Restart are increasing the number of properties in our portfolio, and continue to improve the standard of our accommodation. We have had a total refurbishment of our City Centre building, in which the large function space is well equipped for client development activities. Alongside staff development, implementation of In- form data base, and focus on a holistic client journey, we are moving forward with a fresh and rejuvenated Restart Service.