Early Support and Intervention in Pendle
Early Support and Intervention work in Lancashire is aimed at families who have additional needs at Level 2 on the Continuum of Need. Multi agency groups and panels regularly meet to try to address families' unmet needs, as identified through a holistic assessment such as the Common Assessment Framework (CAF).
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In Pendle, Early Support work to address identified unmet needs begins with the Resource Panel, which meets each month and is a multi agency group of professionals and practitioners who operate at a managerial level in their respective service areas. This Panel holds a budget for spot commissioning: where no other suitable alternative can be found, the Panel can buy in the appropriate service or equipment to support the child, young person and his or her family, up to a maximum of £500. Such issues are reported into the Panel via a Gap in Service form, which the Lead Professional (LP) completes. Attendance at the Panel by the LP or their representative is then required so that all potential solutions can be explored and further questions can be asked where necessary. This process is completely anonymous with respect to the child, young person and family; additionally, an identified gap in service is not necessarily a huge deficit in terms of available service responses and interventions; evidence shows that it can often be the smallest items purchased that make all the difference. To date, the Panel has, for example, paid transport costs, purchased car seats for a service that supports families, and paid the nursery fees where a family had unexpectedly experienced a traumatic episode in their lives and needed some respite to deal with practical issues.
If you are a practitioner and work with families whom you know to have additional needs, and which cannot be met through the usual channels, then complete a Gap in Service form and send it to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Where the Panel recognises that a need cannot be met immediately or through the resources available, then thematic issues are escalated up to the Sub Group. This group's membership is more strategic, and considers whether their organisation is able to respond. Where this is not possible, the matter is escalated upwards again to the Pendle CYP Trust Board. Because the information escalated up to the Trust is based on real evidence from within Pendle, it is possible for the Trust to act confidently upon the recommendations made by the Panel and Sub Group, and deploy resources locally in order to meet identified needs. This is done under a Service Level Agreement with an identified provider, and agreed outcomes put in place and monitored closely. To date, in Pendle, there are three small grant-funded projects which are now live after being developed and implemented through this process:
- Mobile creche facility for four Pendle Children's Centres supporting access, participation, and retention of parents onto Parenting and ESOL courses.
- A similar service is providing support for women to enable them to take part in the Freedom and Next Steps programmes offered at the Women's Refuge.
- Funding has been granted to extend the specialist services offered locally through the Lookout programme, which supports young people who are affected by domestic violence.
All work around Early Support and Intervention is informed and guided by the local priorities from the Children and Young People's Plan. Outcomes being monitored include, for example, the total number of children, young people and families engaging with the project; number of those with a CAF in place; increased attendance and improved behaviour at school; and the number of families benefiting from engaging with the project. Monitoring is not limited to these outcomes, and the impact of the interventions put in place will be evaluated at the end of the year, in order that there is again an evidence base for the Trust to consider when deploying future resources.
The views and experiences of children, young people and families have been captured at the earliest stages of a holistic assessment process, and the interventions respond to this information.
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