How should councils work with people at specific transition points?

2 min readNov 5, 2021


We don’t focus sufficiently on identifying the causes to the needs people present to our services on, or whether that need is the most important one in their life.

When we prioritise cohorts, we focus on specific demographic characteristics, rather than either situational factors or their cultural environment.

When we look at user journeys, we focus on where there’s an opportunity to meet people’s needs with an improvement or redesign to a service.

Many times, when people slip through the gaps of public service, it’s when they leave either a formal system of support — the service of the council, health or a charity, or informal — like their families or communities. This can be because they are going through a transition in life:

  • When kids join school or leave school
  • When people leave care
  • When people leave the hospital or a prison

Or when there’s a “shock” to their life — which is also when there’s an opportunity to change behaviour for the positive:

  • When people have lost a partner and as a result psychological or even material support
  • When people have lost their job or their home
  • When people have moved out of their local area and have lost their informal or formal system of support

How do people “bounce back”?

People’s strengths may be different or have improved and most importantly, their needs may be care leavers who may not need full-time care, but “transition” support that still provides qualities they need — like stability, connections and a safety net, as well as community connections. What about other services providing that transitional support?




Head of Policy Design, Scrutiny & Partnerships @newhamlondon #localgov Co-founder of #systemschange & #servicedesign progs. inspired by @cescaalbanese