Playing to strengths: prevention in a time of crisis

Jon Burchell and Joe Cook highlight their new research, providing a model for understanding how and why strengths-based prevention works.

Over the last two decades, prevention has occupied greater strategic importance in social care policy, increasingly seen as a silver bullet to the ‘existential crisis' facing adult social care systems across the country. The emergence of ‘second wave' prevention has seen a shift from activities that help to manage demand – reablement and signposting – towards more holistic activities targeted towards enhancing wellbeing, growing social connections and reshaping relationships between services, citizens and communities.

As part of this agenda, a variety of strengths and place-based initiatives such as Neighbourhood Networks and Local Area Coordination (LAC), have become increasingly popular in England and Wales. Although prevention is impacting positively on the lives of people who engage, these programmes face a challenging financial landscape. Investment in prevention is at risk.


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