Getting started – partnership, co-production and defining the problem
The Reading MEAM partnership has recently formed, but the area has demonstrated its strong commitment to the approach by embedding the MEAM coordinator post within its floating support contract to be delivered from 1st September 2018. The contract has been won, by local service provider Launchpad, who have provided Homelessness prevention services in Reading for over 30 years, through accommodation, floating support, and advice and signposting work. Launch Pad are now looking at how they recruit a MEAM coordinator with the right skills and values to engage clients with multiple needs and unite the local partnership to affect systems change.
Designing your intervention
Lead partners are now in the process of pulling together their first formal strategic meeting to look at mapping the system locally and identifying a cohort. The leads conducted some initial scoping work to look at potential cohorts but are keen that this is developed jointly with other partners. The operational group will be formed later in the year; it is felt that Reading’s coordinator with their remit to move between systems and services, will be pivotal to the development of the operational group, empowering frontline staff to become agents of change and elicit system flex from the group.
Sustainability and system change
By embedding the MEAM approach into the Floating Support tender for the next 5 years, Reading council have demonstrated their commitment to sustaining and embedding the approach. As well as becoming part of the national MEAM cohort, Reading are one of several neighbouring areas in Berkshire undertaking MEAM work. We are keen to develop a regional network, and have already sought advice and shared learning with neighbouring projects. We are currently in the process of mapping existing local multi agency work to avoid duplication and ensure that the MEAM work, seeks out opportunities to embed good practice and builds on good partnership work already going on locally.