A unique pathway of ‘care in the community’ developed and used by YouBelong
Why a linked model?
YouBelong will seek to provide grants to programmes that create a YouBelong linked model of engagement. This linked model brings together the person in need and her or his family (at the centre of the model), with a network of friends, community supports, the institution/mental hospital, community leaders, religious groups, village elders, key social workers, nurses, community-based health workers, police, the judicial system, peer support workers, and key government ministries. Increased emphasis is given to building trusting relationships with a wide range of groups and stakeholders. ‘Trust’ is the glue that keeps this linked model operating at a high level of output and success.
YouBelong recognises the complexity of social problems and works towards forging linkages and interconnections and using innovative approaches when advocating for and developing community-based services in low and middle income countries in East Africa.
- Train YouBelong staff about the fundamental human need for belonging to one’s family, community, and culture, and an understanding that helping individuals to meet this need is a required foundation for human wellbeing, and active engagement in community life.
- Train YouBelong staff to work with families and local communities and to highlight the values of respect and recognition as core values in increasing a vulnerable person’s wellbeing, and in producing community cohesion, as well as training in the role of culture in a person’s self-identity.
- Train YouBelong staff in the phenomenon of institutionalisation and its negative effects upon the human person.
- Develop good working relationships with the leadership of institutions and build a bridge between institutions and family/community in order to facilitate the flow of ready to be discharged people from institutions back to family and community care.
- Work in order to shift the centre of care from the overburdened and overpopulated institution towards care in the community and to help develop access points for such community based care.
- Work to assist in decompressing the number of people in institutional care thus enabling institutions such as mental hospitals to work with smaller numbers of people, and increase the ratio of staff to residents.
- Reflect a deep conviction that community based care in mental health or in other care areas produces a multiplier effect when it is linked in the first instance, and integrated in the second instance, to a wide range of government and non-government agencies, in order to achieve maximum benefit in the lives of people in need.
- Provide training and education to health workers and others engaged in family-centred and community-centred care with specific attention given to the importance of timely interventions to minimize relapse and return to institutional life.
- Work to strengthen the link between improving an individual’s sense of belonging and meaningful work. As such, we help to create opportunity for people to participate in community life, through income generating activity.
- Place a high value on the need for ready access: access to care and supports in community, access to medication, access to education and information, access to opportunity.
- Place a high value upon the routine collection and use of data as the ‘eyes and ears’ of good policy and the foundation of evidence based service provision.
YouBelong: A bridge between institutions and the community
The YouBelong linked model of engagement and care builds a bridge between the institution and the community to facilitate the movement of people from the institution to family and community life.
The strong foundations of the YouBelong bridge are the collaborative and trusting relationships between institutional leadership and YouBelong.
YouBelong is very conscious of building other key relationships with Local Councils, Religious Bodies, the Police and Judicial system, with Doctors, Nurses, Social Workers, Mental Health Professionals, Community and Village Health Workers, Peer Support Workers, and many others including other NGOs who make major contributions to the care of people in need.
People, particularly those who have been in the institution for a lengthy period of time, need to be gently prepared for their movement out from the institution and towards family and community. YouBelong has developed and provides this care package.
Families and local communities need to be prepared and guided for the person’s return. YouBelong has developed and provides this support package.
The YouBelong bridge is established to provide transport from institution to family/community. YouBelong will provide this transport back home to local communities and villages, as well as food and clothing and other personal necessities for the journey.
YouBelong recognizes the vital importance of providing the help and support necessary to minimise relapse and return to institutional life. YouBelong provides belonging care packages, education, leadership, and innovative interventions to keep people engaged and fulfilled in family and community life. We aim to get as many people as possible into active participation in their community particularly in income generating work.