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Steadying the Ladder:

Social and emotional aspirations of

homeless and vulnerable people



This groundbreaking and influential study by Gerard Lemos, first published in 2006 and now reissued with a new preface, redefines the concepts and context for supporting homeless and other vulnerable people. Steadying the Ladder demonstrates the value strengthening positive identity, creating and re-creating lasting and loving partnerships and building and re-building relationships with family and friends. The book describes the connections between these social and emotional aspirations and the key stages of the journey that vulnerable people go through in receiving support from an agency. The concepts contained within the notion of social and emotional aspirations and the main stages in the service user journey are reflected in approaches to recruiting, developing and managing staff in the final part of the book. Steadying the Ladder will be useful to people responsible for commissioning, planning, managing and delivering support services to vulnerable people. It will be particularly helpful to people responsible for writing policies, procedures and quality assurance systems, as well as those responsible for staff development in support agencies.

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