TOPAZ (Team Offering People Advice and Support)
TOPAZ operates as a Social Work Practice Pilot, in a scheme backed by the Department of Health. TOPAZ is one of six sites in the country, and the only one based in London. TOPAZ is registered as "TOPAZ Social Work Community Interest Company." It is a social work led organisation which is working independently of the local authority.
TOPAZ has been in operation since November 2009. Their core aims are early intervention, preventative work and promoting people's independence and wellbeing in the community. They are an innovative team consisting of social workers and an cccupational therapist. They work primarily with adults.
The TOPAZ team work collaboratively with health services, voluntary organisations, faith and community groups. The team is focused on creating resilient communities and raising awareness of services and organisations within Lambeth. They contact people who were assessed in the previous year, and were not deemed eligible for services. They review whether there has been a change in circumstances and signpost people to a variety of council, health and community services.
They also visit residential and nursing homes to talk to service users and carers. They see people who self-fund their care and may not have had any involvement with adults and community services. Their objective is to promote the safeguarding agenda and to offer information on organisations, or support services that enhance an individual’s wellbeing.
TOPAZ is involved in reaching out to our communities via the various surgeries that are conducted within community organisations and faith groups. They make contact with hard to reach communities, some of which may not have traditionally accessed council services. They disseminate a variety of information, and discuss and advise on safeguarding issues.
TOPAZ is an integral part of providing personalised care services and supporting people to have greater choice and control over their lives.
The team won the Team of the Year award at the Social Worker of the Year Awards 2011.