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Community Engagement & Good Practice Foziha Raja EACH Counselling Service.

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Presentation on theme: "Community Engagement & Good Practice Foziha Raja EACH Counselling Service."— Presentation transcript:

1 Community Engagement & Good Practice Foziha Raja EACH Counselling Service

2 Key principles for community engagement Positive & Inclusive: engaging marginalized groups Avoiding the one size fits all approach: Distinct difference in how communities perceive the use of alcohol A flexible approach to community engagement: being transparent & building trusting relationships Sustaining and Evaluating Change: how do we know it worked

3 A Model of Community Engagement in Practice

4 In Practice: Community engagement & Alcohol use Holistic Approach Education & Communication Delivered in forms & means that is Accessible to the community Working with Religious Identification, Cultural beliefs & values Recognising competence & skills of each Community & its members Orientation towards empowerment Physical & psychological health

5 A Holistic Model Service provision to both family and individual Key sites & points of access for underserved communities Based at GPs, Home-visiting, gender specific support groups to Somali, Tamil & Asian women & Somali & Tamil men, targeted support to family members & carers. Harrow & Ealing provide support via Housing

6 Treatment & Systemic Issues Differences in working with first and second generation clients Providing information on alcohol issues Gender matters! Counselling a difficult concept for some communities Working with family members Employing workers with the skills & knowledge to engage with diverse communities Building trust within communities/ racism & inequalities prevalent Delivering services at grass root levels: using community venues

7 Examples of our work Working with South Asian men: Workers who have the linguistic skills & cultural understanding Outreach and word of mouth Cultivating an environment of understanding, support & equality amongst members Engagement takes times Working with setbacks Somalia community Alcohol use very hidden Focus groups had to be carefully planned to manage differences in dialects & social conflicts Information more likely to be disseminated in person Workers acting as a bridge between host culture & clients culture Working with attitudes to help seeking behaviour Understanding the pressure the role and influence of the family

8 Challenges

9 UNDERSTANDING WHAT IS COMMUNITY & ACHIEVING BALANCE

10 Exclusion & Inclusion: Not all those who share an ethnic identity feel part of the community Group leaders & Organisations: may hold authority & be seen as a trusted Figure/s Families: Alcohol issues may threaten their cultural Beliefs & values, engaging and supporting families has been crucial Individuals: client’s Interpersonal lives, their support networks Impact on their recovery TARGETED SUPPOT NEEDED FOR EACH PART

11 Retention & Engagement Quality of engagement is key Advocacy is one of the cornerstones of our work; more than signposting Aftercare just as crucial: addressing other issues, its never just about the alcohol  Impact on clients mental health  Welfare rights, housing, registering with GPs, advice on employment  Peer support; this can continue once our work finishes formally.

12 Evaluating & Sustaining Change

13 The Politics of Evaluation & Negotiating Expectations Change: means a shift and movement in the communities attitude and way of addressing problematic use of alcohol for its members Everyone has a stake:  service providers have diverse goals & complex relationships with community members & funders  Funders need clear & measurable outcomes  Members of community have invested in the service and have their own expectations  Evaluation takes place in the real-world, some of the challenges include:  Objectives not always clearly measurable  Service not established long enough to expect results  Sometimes things go wrong!

14 Evaluation: Internal & External Did it serve the Clients it Intended to How did clients Enter the service How integrated Within the Community Was the service How is it perceived By other Service providers Completion of Treatment who Dropped out And why?

15 Sustaining Change Rapid needs analysis by key workers (working at a grass roots level) Trends are fed back into service planning & delivery Targeted support for example working with the Tamil community and Eastern European Community

16 How do we know it works! By having our nose at a grassroots level Adapting to change - through more appropriate service provision Seeing a greater take-up of our services from these underserved hard to reach communities. It is the old and tried and tested community model of working - nothing groundbreaking - doing this for hundreds of years!

17 EACH Counselling and Support Service 729 London Road Hounslow, TW3 1SE


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