Family Support Service
As part of the Early Support and Intervention Strategy, Rossendale Children and Young People's Trust and Lancashire County Council commissioned a Family Support Service aimed at families who required additional support at an early stage.
In July 2011, a contract was set up between LCC and the Maden Early Years and Child Care Centre.
The aim of the service is for a team of five staff to support families and communities to become stronger through universal and early preventative services, focusing on three main areas of activity:
- Targeted approaches at vulnerable times for children, young people and families, particularly those at key transition points in need to meet positive outcomes around education, health, behaviour and homelessness.
- Building strong communities, where children, families and young people can thrive.
- Developing partnerships and partnership arrangements which place the child and family at the heart of what they do.
At present the service works with 63 families from the Rossendale area. A range of agencies are involved, including Health, GP's, Social Care and schools. The service fully supports and utilises the Common Assessment Framework (CAF) process. The model allows for local variation within Rossendale and the five workers are based across five Children's Centres across the district, making links with schools and other agencies.
What worked well...
- Partnership working is exceptional with high levels of communication and recording and monitoring of individuals taking place
- Reduced duplication of workloads with other professionals as agencies are kept well informed of planned interventions
- Placing one team member at each children's centre across Rossendale has ensured that all settings and agencies are aware of the service, and have a key point of contact to refer into or make enquiries about the service.
The case study below illustrates the nature of the support and the impact of the intervention.
A referral had been received in December 2011 from a school with concerns about a pupil, particularly his health and wellbeing. Child A appeared to be constantly suffering from a cold and suffered from eczema during winter.
He travelled to school on his bike and did not wear waterproof clothing over his uniform and explained to school that this was due to lack of money to pay for a bus fare. He was entitled to have free school meals but preferred to be on a packed lunch which mother tried for a few days but discontinued due to the expense.
A home visit was done where it was identified that the family would benefit from some support with regard to travel arrangements for school, advice on housing to improve social networking for the family and further support with dieting.
The support over three months alongside positive engagement from mother led to the following positive outcomes:
- Child A was provided with a free bus pass for travel to and from school
- Mother has been provided with healthy eating planners and menu planners in order to improve family diet and eating habits
- Contact has been made with family doctor to assess Child A's immune system to enable the child to be prescribed vitamins
- Actively seeking alternative housing has enabled the family to move to a larger property with a garden in a better location closer to extended family
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