Each Golden Key client is supported by a dedicated Service Coordinator. Client choice is at the centre of the approach - the coordinator works flexibly and creatively to provide the easiest path to the services the client needs. This encourages the client to use the help available and take control of their recovery journey.
Coordinators adapt their approach and support depending on the client’s needs. Their first step is to build a positive relationship so coordinators can understand what the client wants and tailor support accordingly.
Service Coordinators work alongside clients throughout their journey. Support can bridge across traditional service boundaries, for example if a client goes to prison or is admitted to hospital coordinators will continue to offer support. They work at a pace that is right for their client and can continue this support throughout the Golden Key’s eight year funding period.
As Golden Key is a partnership programme our aim is always to take a service neutral perspective, this means coordinators can work objectively with support agencies. An important part of service coordinators' role is to see the big picture and work closely with other services and agencies to make sure clients’ support is joined up.
A crucial element of a Service Coordinator's role is to record what is helping or hindering their client's recovery. This provides a crucial evidence base for our system change work. Specific examples are logged from a client's perspective putting lived experience at the heart of our system change strategy. We have developed an innovative process which means coordinators can categorise blocks into tiers before directing them to the most effective avenue by which to be resolved.
Hundreds of blocks ranging from service charges being taken from benefits after leaving a hostel to a client not being offered housing due to perceived risk, because of an incident that happened ten years ago, have already been logged by the service coordinator team.
The team are also tracking good practice. A recent example of this was an adult social-care worker assessment being client-led, focusing on a conversational approach and informal manner. As a result the client felt un-hurried, listened to and spoke more honestly.
Small personal budgets are available so that clients can buy things that they, and their service coordinator, agree will help them move forward. This enables coordinators and clients to have more control and be more creative about what practical measures can support change. Examples of how clients have spent their personal budget include clothes, learning services, driving lessons and a birth certificate.
Golden Key does not have an open referral process. We have worked with our partners to carefully build a base of clients who have a high level of need and deep-rooted problems, often with a history of being excluded.
Clients have significant needs in at least three of the following areas; substance misuse, homelessness, mental health and offending behaviour. Examples include people who have experienced many unsuccessful attempts at detoxification, are currently homeless, have had repeated detentions under the Mental Health Act and/or have had repeat prison stays.
Our focus is now to identify hidden demographics within Bristol. If you would like to discuss a hidden group, please email Sandeep Saprai, Golden Key Team Manager: Sandeep.Saprai@goldenkeybristol.org.uk
To contact the team, call 0117 428 9237.