Transatlantic Practice Exchange 2017 – what did we learn?
Blog posted by: Tasmin Maitland, Monday, 18 September 2017.
This week sees the launch of the reports from the third Transatlantic Practice Exchange.
Our 2017 participants have done a brilliant job of exploring homelessness in different contexts and applying their learning back home. We’ve highlighted just a few of their findings here, and you can download all ten reports below.
Strengths-Based Practice and Systems Change
Ruth Wallbank, formerly of VOICES and now with the MEAM Coalition, explored Strengths-Based Approaches in Grand Rapids, Michigan. She writes that strengths-based practice “ensures that the people accessing our services are at the centre of all we do, are treated with the highest level of dignity and respect, and are not only valued for their innumerable strengths, skills, and assets but are also give real opportunities to use them.”
Wendy Scott, from Greensboro Urban Ministry, was inspired by the approach to system change used by Fulfilling Lives in Brighton & Hove, finding that “user engagement is fundamental to seeing people with lived experience as the experts of systems change, because of their knowledge of the working parts. A fundamental change in how [US] service workers and professionals work with services is required”.
Support for LGBTQ+ youth
Tyler Harmon, from Friendship Place in Washington DC, asked why rates of homelessness among LGBTQ+ youth in the US are so much higher than in the UK. He was hosted by the Albert Kennedy Trust in Manchester, Newcastle, and London. Tyler concluded that, although many of the underlying issues relating to LGBTQ+ homelessness are similar, “the UK seems to be further advanced in their strategy for ending and preventing LGBTQ+ youth homelessness… Many of the service providers in the UK seem to have been doing this work for decades”.
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