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Family Support and Safeguarding Service
The Family Support and Safeguarding Service provides services for children and families from locations based in 14 children’s centres. The Family Support and Safeguarding Service is made up of:
- Children’s centre staff and partner agencies (eg health visiting) providing services for all children
- Family Support teams providing services for children with additional needs
- Specialist Children’s Social Care teams providing services for children with complex needs
More information on the services provided by the Family Support and Safeguarding Service as well as how partners/professionals can make a referral can be found below.
Universal / Universal Plus
Children’s centres provide or can arrange access to a range of services for children aged 0 to five and their families:
- Early education and childcare.
- Sessional care (eg playgroups/crèches).
- Health services such as midwifery and health visiting.
- Parenting support and parenting programmes.
- Family support.
- Support for parents to access training and employment opportunities.
Main areas of work of the Family Support Teams are:
- Working with families who meet the Think/Troubled Family criteria. In particular families where there is evidence of poor school attendance, worklessness and parenting capacity issues.
- Working to minimise the impact on the well being of children caused by parental domestic abuse, mental health, drugs and alcohol use.
- Working to prevent family breakdown.
Family Support workers can provide or arrange for the provision of a range of interventions. These include:
- advice on parenting
- one to one sessions with children or young people
- advice on impact of substance misuse, domestic abuse, mental health, sexual exploitation and anti social behaviour
- links to specialist services where this is required
- advocating and practical support
- provision of or linking to evidence based parenting programmes
The service priorities of the Safeguarding and Children in Care teams are in relation to the statutory responsibilities of Children’s Social Care. This covers:
- Undertaking assessments of children who may be a child in need.
- Children who are subject to child protection plans.
(NB Child protection investigations are undertaken by The Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH) Child Protection Investigation Service with case responsibility moving to Safeguarding teams at the point of Initial Child Protection Conference)
- Children where concerns are not sufficient to be subject to a child protection plan but require a children in need plan led by a social worker.
- Children who are in the care of the Local Authority.
- Children who are subject to public court proceedings.
- Ensure that the statutory responsibility of the Local Authority in relation to the most vulnerable children are undertaken.
- Act as lead professional when there is a statutory responsibility.
- Provide advice and reassurance to professionals working with children with Universal needs or Additional needs.
How to make a Service Request to the Family Support and Safeguarding Service
There are various ways to make a service request depending on the urgency of the situation.
- Urgent safeguarding concerns should be reported to the Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH)
- In situations where it is identified a child may have additional needs the professional who has most contact with the child would normally undertake an fCAF and convene an ISP to which the Family Support and Safeguarding Service may be invited. This can be arranged by contacting the Children’s Information and Advice Service
- Each School consortium area will have a TAF case discussion forum. Agencies can request a case be discussed at the forum by submitting an fCAF to the Family Support and Safeguarding Service.
- If you are uncertain about how to proceed, contact your local Family Support and Safeguarding Team through the Children’s Information and Advice Service on 0121 303 1888 to discuss.