Multiple Disadvantage – workforce development and a whole system approach to support services

Posted 04.11.2019

The Building Better Opportunities Programme – Opportunity and Change work with those with Multiple and Complex Needs or Multiple Disadvantage including employing social workers who can assess clients against the Care Act.

While we commonly speak about support services in isolated categories, the people that use them often experience a combination of interrelated and mutually reinforcing needs, such as homelessness, mental ill health, offending and substance misuse. The combination of two or more of these problems is commonly referred to as Severe Multiple Disadvantage (SMD) or Multiple and Complex Needs (MCN).

People who face these disadvantages often experience other issues, including poor physical health, domestic and sexual abuse and disadvantages related to ethnicity such as community isolation. They also have a harder time accessing services and getting support that meets their needs, as they are viewed as too challenging for mainstream responses.


BBO is having a significant impact on individual lives, supporting people to increase their confidence, independence and achieve their employment aspirations.

See what our participants have to say in these case studies …

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