At MAC-UK, our approach to services and practice is called the INTEGRATE approach.

INTEGRATE is a psychologically informed approach, delivers multi-level interventions that create change in social environments and co-produce services with those who have lived experience. To reach those who are most excluded, the MAC-UK approach is to go out to where they are and offer a flexible, responsive and holistic service which goes beyond just providing one to one therapy. This means working in communities (sometimes even in the streets), not in clinics! INTEGRATE, implements a set of service level and practice level principles to work alongside young people and communities.

Service Level Principles

Harness Experts by Experience

Engage (and employ) people with lived experience to design new services and to provide advice on what works best

Meet Young People where they are at

Ensure services meet young people where they are at psychologically, developmentally and physically. This might include engaging with young people in ways that they prefer, and proactively going to settings where young people are comfortable

Create Flexible and Responsive Services

Engage with and understand what young people actually want from services. For example, if young people tell you they want support developing their own ventures, start here and build services to enable this, wrapping other support around these sessions

Co-produce Services with Excluded Young People & Partners Experts by experience and partner organisations have the skills to co-produce all aspects of service design and delivery. Enable this through problem-solving together; identifying and drawing on resources/support needed at each stage
Services that Address People in Context Excluded young people often live in contexts of deprivation and economic hardship, as well as other contextual difficulties. Services should proactively address these issues to create social change. This could be through encouraging young people to work together to take action on issues, or influencing local and national policy
Build Meaningful Partnerships through Services Services often exist in contexts of limited resources and competition between them, as well as other contextual difficulties.  Promote cooperation by developing shared understandings together, across agencies, of what is needed in services for excluded young people and promoting flexible use of resources between partners
Services that Work at Multiple Levels Services can intervene at an individual, organizational, community and national level with and for excluded young people
Psychologically-informed Services

Trust and consistency are very important to excluded young people in building relationships with staffThese psychological understandings of excluded young people are key to delivering effective interventions

Focus on and Build Resources and Resiliencies

Services should be based on increasing the existing resources and strengths of communities and their young people

Evidence-based Practice and Practice-based Evidence How do you judge success? What have you achieved? Use rigorous evaluation and multiple research methods to measure your impact. Critically, draw on youth-led research design. Apply evidence-based practice flexibly and innovatively

Practice Level Principles

Everything is an opportunity

Every time we encounter a new problem, it tells us something isn't working and is an opportunity to create a better solution. For example, if a young person doesn't like a policy or role, is there a chance they could co-produce a new one that works for all? If a young person is talking about their experiences is there a chance to open up a conversation about their past and link it to their current perceptions?

Asking for young people's help Ask young people for their help as they are experts in their own lives and their needs. For example, ask young people to make decisions about how services are run, as well for help with youth-led activities.
Doing with young people and not for young people

For example, supporting a young person to solve a problem, to make a telephone call - not doing it for them

Being empathic, curious, non-judgmental and sharing dilemmas Open up conversations and demonstrate empathy. If you have a dilemma, sharing it with a young person can build their confidence to help others. It also creates trust and a balanced relationship between equals.
Not knowing It's likely we don't know everything or have all the answers. It's also likely that we don't know exactly what is going on for a young person, we don't always know what they have or haven't done. Being aware of this should inform our way of being with young people
We are a team Us, young people and staff are part of the team/organisation/service and so we make decisions based on what is good for our team/organization/service
We deliver what we promise and don't promise what we can't deliver Work hard not to commit yourself to something you can't deliver and try your best to deliver what you say you will
From the eyes of the young person Ask how a young person might interpret what you've said, or why they might be behaving a certain way. Try to think from a young person's perspective and support them to think about other's perspectives
Worldview with consistent boundaries or 'I could lose my job' Be clear about boundaries and stick to them and ensuring young people understand why those boundaries are in place. Help young people to understand the 'worldview' (e.g. 'I could lose my job', 'the home could get shut down', 'it is illegal')
What needs changing? How can we support young people to consider themselves as agent of change? How can we empower young people to make changes for themselves? For example, if a young person is unhappy about the way the service is being run, how can we ensure they can work with staff to change it?

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