This week’s network hub: The National Association of Adult Placement Services (UK)
History: Adult placement carers use their own homes to provide long-term accommodation and support short breaks and day-time support. In the late 1970s and early 1980s adult placement (AP) in the UK had a period of growth and scheme organisers in the Midlands and the North West began meeting to share information and offer mutual support. It was then recognised that a national organisation including AP carers and service users as well as AP scheme organisers was required. On 30 June 1992 the National Association of Adult Placement Services (Naaps) was formed.
Membership: 114 AP schemes, 40 AP workers, 2,826 full AP carer members and 229 associate members.
Fees: These are dependent either on the size of the AP service, and whether carers are full or associate members.
Mission: Naaps aims to promote the development of very small services provided by individuals and families in communities and works to ensure high standards of practice and services that meet the needs and expectations of individuals.
* Learning materials plus development opportunities specific to adult placement.
* Consultancy help to those organisations planning to set up an AP scheme and to existing AP schemes wishing to improve or change their practice.
* A carer support helpline and other support services.
* An advice line.
There are country committees in three of the four UK countries (England, Scotland and Northern Ireland).
Good practice examples: Naaps has published good practice guidelines for AP panels, where there has been an allegation of abuse (including checklists for AP schemes and AP carers), and on mixed child-adult placements. It has also published:
* Learning the Ropes: A toolkit which is used by schemes to enable AP carers to develop and provide evidence of their skills.
* The Fire Safety Code of Practice (in association with the Department for Communities and Local Government and the Department of Health).
* Guidance on benefits and charging in adult placement (with the DH and the Department of Work and Pensions).
* Carer holiday and conference, Hastings, 24-28 September 2007.
* Naaps annual conference, Birmingham, 8-9 November 2007.
Homeshare: Where someone needing support offers accommodation in their home in exchange for that support. Naaps has been funded by the DH to develop a web-based practice guide (www.homeshare.org.uk) and to run two pilot programmes designed to refine learning and demonstrate the value of such programmes to local authorities.
The Micro Markets Project: Naaps has been funded by the DH to look at the best ways to support very small services provided by individuals and families in communities that are not adult placement, to test models of support and publish a good practice toolkit that can be used by local authorities to support “micro provision” in their area.
Partners: Include In Control, TimeBanks UK, The Association of Directors of Adult Social Services, Skills for Care, Commission for Social Care Inspection, Social Care Institute for Excellence, Fostering Network, UK Home Care Association, Community Service Volunteers.
This article appeared in the 14 June issue under the headline “Meeting the demands of a growing movement”