Builders Workshop #21: Neighbor-to-Neighbor Care Teams

photo 1On Wednesday Feb. 25 we hosted a Builders Workshop on creating Neighbor-to-Neighbor (N2N) Care Teams. We had a special guest – Kathy Perlow, creator and implementer of the Lehigh Valley Time Exchange, a hospital-based timebank in Pennsylvania. There Kathy piloted N2N Care Teams around hospital patients who needed a hand. Kathy has recently retired and will be creating an even more robust model, based in a health center and in the form of a Mutual Aid Network. She came to Madison to share what she learned and help us create our own system tailored to our local needs.

What is a N2N Care Team?

Neighbor-to-Neighbor Care Teams are simply a more structured, neighborhood-based way to coordinate timebank services. A local N2N Care Team might choose to focus on a few basic services, like transportation,photo 2 home chores, companionship, and food/medicine pick-up. The Care Team Coordinator/s (it can be one person per neighborhood or a whole team, with one person per service type) is responsible for paying attention to who offers a certain service and who needs that service, and helps to connect people appropriately. The Coordinator also takes responsibility for identifying gaps and recruiting people to fill them. In addition, the Coordinator may provide back-up when no other timebank service provider is available.

We decided to form at least three N2N Care Teams, based around people or groups who have interest and need. Ryan suggested his apartment complex in South Madison, where we happen to have another member who could use a hand after breaking a bone. We’re forming another care photo 3team in Sun Prairie, where we have our Capacity Building Initiative working with families and community members with and without disabilities to create more networks of mutual support and engagement. And another around our efforts in central Madison, working to support people who are homeless.

You can read details in the notes from the workshop here.

photo 5The next evening Kathy joined me as we introduced our next steps in building N2N Care Teams in Sunphoto 2-1 Prairie. We have a follow-up next week and will share the steps we take to get started, just in case you’d like to make one in your own community.

Thanks for reading,

Stephanie

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