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Proposal of a service delivery model for supported living community forensic services

Anna Wark (Department of Psychology and Mental Health, University of Manchester, Manchester, UK)
Neil Gredecki (Department of Psychology and Mental Health, University of Manchester, Manchester, UK)

Leadership in Health Services

ISSN: 1751-1879

Article publication date: 13 September 2022

Issue publication date: 27 January 2023




Following serious case review, the Transforming Care agenda (DH, 2015) highlights the need for adults with learning disabilities, autism, mental health issues or behaviors that challenge to be supported within communities rather than hospitals. Poor or absent leadership has been identified as contributing to serious cases of abuse in health-care settings [Department of Health (DH), 2012]. This paper aims to focus on identifying the elements required for good leadership and service delivery in community forensic services (CFS).


The perspectives of 12 support workers working in CFS were obtained through semi-structured interviews.


Thematic analysis identified two predominant themes, namely, authentic leadership and effective team practice. A culture of trust and learning occurs when teams are well led. This culture leads to consistent practice which benefits services users and reduces risk of poor practice. Analysis suggests a framework for service delivery which is complimented by aspects of the Total Attachment model.

Research limitations/implications

The data set was collected from the same organisation and views may have been aligned to existing organisational policy. However, the sample was taken across different teams and geographical locations to collate more generalised experiences of team dynamics. The lead researcher works for the organisation and this dual role may have affected the candour with which individuals shared information during interviews.

Practical implications

Using a model to understand the functional dynamics of teams within CFS may support leaders and practitioners to improve service delivery.

Social implications

Improving service delivery within CFS may increase opportunity to meet the Transforming Care Agenda.


This paper examines staff perspectives and the application of theoretical frameworks to propose a unique service delivery model for supported living within CFS.



The authors would like to thank the participants for generously providing their time to this research. The lead author would like to thank her line manager for their ongoing professional and academic support.


Wark, A. and Gredecki, N. (2023), "Proposal of a service delivery model for supported living community forensic services", Leadership in Health Services, Vol. 36 No. 1, pp. 97-110.



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