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4.1 Services for Children

Contents

  1. Initial Response Team
  2. Care Management Teams
  3. Out of Hours Social Work Service
  4. Leaving Care Service (St Christopher's)
  5. Children with Disabiltiies Team
  6. Supporting Families Team


1. Initial Response Team

Role of the Team

To provide a referral and assessment function for the Division, offering a first point of contact for members of the public. To offer an assessment service for children and families, who are either new or re-referrals.

Purpose of Service

The overall aim of the Initial Response Team is to deliver quality assessments, to accurately ascertain the needs of children and families, leading to better targeting of services and whenever possible to avoid the need to accommodate children.

To make certain that referral and assessment processes discriminate effectively between different types and levels of need and produce a timely response, by:

  • Whenever possible assist children and families to find viable alternatives for children to remain with the family without ongoing statutory intervention;
  • Ensuring that children’s services, health, and education agree how they will assess what help children and families need. and how they will respond;
  • Ensuring that fewer families have to ask several times before their children get the help they need;
  • Completing all NARRATES within agreed timescales;
  • Providing services promptly in response to the assessment;
  • Undertake Section 46 investigations and managing strategy discussions at the commencement of the investigations;
  • Initiating NARRATES Section 46 on child protection cases proceeding to initial case conferences;
  • Seeking Section 42 Emergency Protection Orders (EPO) and applying for Interim Care Orders as appropriate;
  • Initiation of Accommodation Section 25;
  • Providing reports to Courts as required.

Transfers to Other Teams/Services

Given the planned short term nature of the work of the Initial Assessment Team, following the appropriate assessment and initial action cases will be transferred to other teams within the division or to other agencies at the agreed times (see Transfer and Allocation of Work between Children's Service Teams Procedure).


2. Care Management Teams

Role of the Service

To provide a social work service for children and families residing in the community who have been subject to a NARRATES and to provide assistance to Children with Complex Needs or Children with Safety and Protection Needs. To promote the rehabilitation of children looked after, where the care plan has a specific planned date for return home.

Purpose of Service

The overall aim of the Care Management Teams is to meet the needs of children and families in the community who have complex problems including risk of harm to children, by:

  • Whenever possible assist children and families to find viable alternatives for children to remain with the family without ongoing statutory intervention;
  • Ensuring that social services, health, and education agree how they will assess what help children and families need and how they will respond;
  • Completing NARRATES identifying the precise needs of the child/children and ensure that the appropriate services including social work are mobilised to address these needs;
  • Providing services as identified by Core Group meetings, Network meetings or CP Conferences;
  • Maintaining an active child protection risk action plan to safeguard a child from harm and directly promote his/her welfare;
  • NARRATES Section 46 Child Protection enquiries on open Care Management Team cases;
  • Section 42 emergency protection of children on open Care Management Team cases;
  • Reintegrating and maintaining children in the community with family support and other services as appropriate;
  • Supporting children and families, where appropriate, when children are no longer looked after and have returned to the care of their parents/families (who still meet the Threshold criteria for Children with Complex Needs);
  • Working in partnership with the health, education and voluntary sector that provide family support interventions.

To provide a service that ensures children, who are looked after, receive a high quality social work service.

The provision of a comprehensive care planning and review service for children looked after, including:

  • Ensuring all children have up to date assessments, care and permanency plans;
  • Ensuring that the statutory LAC procedures are implemented for each child looked after;
  • Ensuring that children are safeguarded from harm and seen alone, as required by the regulations, in order to ascertain their wishes and feelings;
  • Ensuring the child's health needs are met and a clear record of all health checks is maintained;
  • Ensuring that the personal educational plan addresses the educational needs of the child and that educational attainments and progress are detailed;
  • Care Management Teams will ensure that permanency planning is progressed within set timeframe's to ensure good outcomes for Children Looked After. Where it is assessed that it is not possible for a child to be returned to their birth family, or to be cared for by extended family or significant others, the parallel/permanency plan for the child will be implemented.

Progressing adoption of children, in particular, who are under the age of nine and cannot return to their families to ensure continuity and consistency of care.

Preparing reports for Court, Adoption and Fostering Panels.


3. Out of Hours Social Work Service

Role of the Service

To provide an out of hour’s emergency service to assess need, support and protect children. The team will work to safeguard children to ensure that they are protected, where action must be considered before the next working day.

Purpose of Service

The Team provides an emergency referral point for service users, the public, professionals and other agencies who wish to access the Out of Hours Social Work Service, where children and families may be in serious need and / or at risk of harm.

The team will undertake a NARRATES where:

  • Children are facing significant impairment;
  • Children are failing to reach reasonable health and development;
  • Children at risk of significant harm;
  • Accommodation is requested for children.

The duties of the Out of Hours service in respect of children include:

  • Undertaking assessments of needs and risk;
  • Providing services that address the response to crisis and/or short-term need;
  • Passing on information regarding activity to daytime teams;
  • Procurement of placement services;
  • Requests for appropriate adult service; and
  • Children missing from care placements.


4. Leaving Care Service (St Christopher's)

Role of the Service

To ensure that young people leaving care are not isolated and are assisted to participate as fully as possible socially and economically as citizens and enter adulthood in a prepared and supported environment.

Purpose of Service

The Team will operate a service to young people from age 16 who are in care or preparing to leave the care of the department and / or those young people aged 18+ who previously were looked after and are entitled to after care services.

Young people aged 16 who are looked after by the Department and are beginning to prepare for leaving care. The Team will commence involvement at the second review in a young person’s 14th year in accordance with the young person’s Pathway Plans.

The Team will ensure that a service to young people leaving the care of the Department to facilitate their achievement in education/career and assist in the development of their individual independent living skills by:

  • Ensuring that young people who were in care when they were 16 are studying in education, training or working when they reach the age of 19;
  • Maintaining contact with young people who were in care aged 16, until the age of up to 24 as appropriate;
  • Plan and promote young people leaving care to live in good permanent accommodation at the age of 18.


5. Children with Disabilities Team

Role of the Team

  1. To undertake NARRATES where appropriate and to provide a care package of service(s) to all children from birth up to the age of eighteen who have a permanent and substantial disability and meet the Threshold criteria;
  2. To provide parents and carers with information about how children’s and their needs are assessed;
  3. To reflect a social model of disability and to provide services of inclusion, including integrated play and leisure services, whenever possible.

Purpose of the Team

  1. Any child with disability up to the age of 18 is entitled to an assessment of need:
    • Where a child has a disability that has a significant impact on the child’s ability to function independently in the community; and
    • Where the child's needs for care and support has a significant impact on parents and carers due to the amount of care needed by the child, compared to the level of care that is reasonably expected for the majority of children of a similar age.
  2. To ensure that children with specific social needs arising out of disability or a health condition are living in families or other appropriate settings in the community where their assessed needs are adequately met and reviewed.

    This is achieved by:
    • Making sure all relevant departments and agencies have up to date and accurate information of the numbers and circumstances of children with disabilities in the Island;
    • Providing family support to help children with disabilities and their families live achieve their full potential;
    • Helping children who have a disability to access the same play and leisure services as non-disabled children; and
    • Giving children and parents information about the services which might help them.
  3. Provision of a comprehensive service to children with a disability who are looked after in accordance with CLA procedures;
  4. To undertake NARRATES Section 46 on children allocated to social workers or children known to have a substantial and permanent disability;
  5. To interface effectively with partner providers and in particular voluntary sector providers to promote local services to meet the needs of children with disabilities in the community;
  6. Where necessary to undertake court proceedings to protect children from significant harm and to plan for the long term permanent care of children with a disability who have suffered significant harm;
  7. To liaise with the Adult Disability Team for transitional planning for children from the age of 14+.


6. Supporting Families Team

Role of the Team

The Supporting Families Team is a family support service within Children’s Social Care. It can provide individual and family support to a child and their family, when a child is the subject of a Child with Complex Needs Plan or a Child Protection Risk Action Plan.

Purpose of the Team

The Team offers individual support to match the unique needs of each child and their family, but some of the support that the Supporting Families Team can provide is as follows:

  • Parenting education: Supporting parents/carers to feel more confident in their parenting by working with them to have a better understanding around child development and the different needs of children at different ages;
  • Parenting support in the home: Working alongside parents/carers to build on their parenting skills to put in place the care needed to meet their child’s needs and keep them safe, such as age appropriate routines, boundaries, supervision;
  • Behaviour Management: Guidance around different strategies to use for parents/carers who are finding the behaviour of their child difficult to manage;
  • Practical Support such as helping improve the home environment or budgeting support;
  • Keep Safe Work: Individual support and education for children to increase their ability to keep themselves safe. For example, appropriate/inappropriate touch and being able to say no, and when young people are undertaking risk taking behaviours, such as running away, internet safety;
  • Emotional literacy work with children, often with support from parents, to enable them the opportunity to explore and manage their feelings regarding difficult experiences they may have had, or are currently experiencing, which are impacting on their well-being, such as witnessing domestic abuse;
  • Domestic Abuse Interventions: Working with parents/carers to try to prevent children experiencing any future domestic abuse and keeping them safe from harm. Supporting parents/carers to recognise abusive behaviour and to understand the impact this can have on children, and to promote healthier non-abusive relationships;
  • Crisis intervention support: Working with families to prevent children becoming Looked After when families are breaking down or in crisis. This often includes linking in with other services to provide immediate support to try and keep families together;
  • Rehabilitation support for parents/carers and children, when children who are Looked After are going to be returned home to their parents/carers.

End