Family Support Strategy

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1 Nottingham Children s Partnership Family Support Strategy earlier support, stronger families

2 CONTENTS Foreword Summary INTRODUCTION Nottingham Children s Partnership.. 6 Our Vision for Family Support Our Challenge OUR APPROACH Making it Happen: Roles and Responsibilities Making it Happen: Strategic Actions Making it Happen: The Family Support Pathway How We Will Deliver Conclusion Contact details

3 Foreword In recent years, One Nottingham has recognised the fundamental importance of ensuring that every child and young person has the best start in life. The only way we can achieve this is to invest in Nottingham s most valuable asset its families. There is much to celebrate about family life in Nottingham. But some of our families need support, and a few need a lot of help. When families cannot cope by themselves, we have a duty to help not only for their own sake, but also because we know that problems can escalate and become much harder to fix later. We know that a lot of work to support families is already happening. However, we need to ensure that this is well co-ordinated and good practice is shared across the Children s Partnership. Many of the city s ambitions rest upon our collective ability to raise a new generation of children who can go on to achieve more than their parents. Nottingham City s Family Support Strategy will help us achieve this ambition. we must shift our focus towards greater prevention and earlier intervention The context within which we are delivering public services is changing rapidly. There will be further reforms to how services are managed and delivered, and the level of resource available is likely to fall in the next few years. This strategy has been prepared with this in mind it sets a level of ambition and the strategic direction in which we wish to travel. We hope that it will help us improve and maintain consistency in the years to come. Councillor David Mellen Nottingham City Council Lead Member for Children and Family Services Chair of the Nottingham Children s. Partnership Board In particular, we must shift our focus towards greater prevention and earlier intervention. We want all agencies to take responsibility at an early stage for the well-being of children, young people and families that they come into contact with, and work together more effectively to address their needs. We can achieve a greater impact and better value for money by addressing root causes, not just symptoms. We will do this in collaboration with families themselves. The way that we deliver services must support them in taking responsibility for their own situation, not foster greater dependency. Nottingham Children s Partnership Family Support Strategy

4 SUMMARY The Nottingham Children s Partnership has agreed this strategy for Family Support in Nottingham City for Its purpose is to set out: 1. The priorities across all partners responsible for providing support to families; 2. Our responsibilities; 3. How we will deliver support. Nottingham recognises that healthy, strong and resilient families are the fundamental building block of community life in Nottingham and are essential for the city s future. Our family support vision is for earlier support and stronger families. We want to see a family-focused Nottingham, where every child can grow up in a warm and supportive environment, free from poverty and safe from harm; where every mother, father and carer receives the support they need to look after their own family, at the earliest opportunity. We want public services, businesses and voluntary groups to all work closely together, accepting that the whole family is our responsibility. It also establishes the Partnership s agreed family support priorities: 1. Intervening early and preventing problems 2. Integrating services 3. Family-focused: personalised and seamless 4. Accessible and inclusive 5. Empowering families to take responsibility We want to see a family-focused Nottingham, where every child can grow up in a warm and supportive environment, free from poverty and safe from harm; where every mother, father and carer receives the support they need to look after their own family, at the earliest opportunity. 4 Nottingham Children s Partnership Family Support Strategy

5 introduction: Our Families Families have always been the main building block of our communities and our society. Today there are 31,000 families with dependent children in Nottingham City, accounting for over one quarter of the city s population approximately 80,000 people. In these families, some 60,000 children and young people are growing up. Over one in three is from a black or minority ethnic group, with growing diversity. Families come in different forms. Children and young people are usually raised by their mothers/ fathers as a couple or as a single parent, but carers can include other relatives, other adults connected with the family or foster carers. Nottingham is one of England s most deprived cities, with two out of three children living in households reliant on state benefits, adding to the pressures on many families. Deprivation and underachievement have been deeply entrenched in many parts of the city for several generations. Many are passing on the same challenges to their own children, with patterns of dysfunction being repeated in each generation. Our Strategy Strong families provide the children of Nottingham with a loving and caring place in which to grow up. These children are doing well at school and will go on to live healthy, fulfilled lives. However, many vulnerable children are not growing up in safe and secure environments; nor are they achieving their full potential. We know that family circumstances and experiences have a major impact on children s well-being and development. The emotional, social and economic benefit of strong families to Nottingham cannot be overestimated. In Nottingham however, we have achieved a sustained improvement in a range of family outcomes over the last decade. An up to date picture of the progress we have made in improving the lives and raising aspirations of our vulnerable children and their families can be found in Chapter 2 of the Children and Young People s Plan - Nottingham Today: Progress and Challenges available at: gov.uk/ics/index.aspx?articleid=2511 We have therefore developed this strategy to build on our success so far and improve the way we offer support to families who need help. Our Family Support Strategy is based on the premise that all services need to be evaluated and demonstrate tangible improvements in identifiable outcomes at a family level. The purpose of this strategy is to provide a consistent approach in the delivery of family support services. The strategy sets out the vision, a set of delivery priorities and a pathway for support that provides a framework for identifying appropriate family support provision at different levels of need. The strategy is also designed to aid the planning and commissioning of family support services and will contribute to the implementation of the Partnership s Children and Young People s Plan (CYPP). Nottingham Children s Partnership Family Support Strategy

6 The Nottingham Children s Partnership The Nottingham Children s Partnership has responsibility for working to improve services for children, young people and families in Nottingham. It is a theme partnership within One Nottingham (our local strategic partnership) with responsibility for implementing the children and family aspects of the city s long term Nottingham Plan to That is why the Children s Partnership s Board has agreed and is now implementing the Nottingham City Children and Young People s Plan The Plan provides a vision that recognises giving Nottingham s children the best start in life, in strong families, with the earliest and best support that we can offer, must be the city s top priority. The Children and Young People s Plan focuses on the support that we provide to families to improve their wellbeing, make them stronger and keep children safe. It explains how the Partnership will continue to improve the support it provides to families across Nottingham City by embedding the Common Assessment Framework (CAF) process to equip our workforce. OUR VISION FOR FAMILY SUPPORT: Earlier support, stronger families Nottingham recognises that healthy, strong and resilient families are the fundamental building block of community life in Nottingham and essential for the city s future. Our vision for family support is for earlier support and stronger families. We want to see a family-focused Nottingham, where:o ahean, a Every child and young person can grow up in a warm and supporting environment, free from poverty and safe from harm; Every mother, father and carer receives the support they need to look after their own family, at the earliest opportunity; and Public services, businesses and voluntary groups all work closely together, accepting that the whole family approach is our focus. By promoting stronger families that are safe, stable, supportive and connected to their communities, we will improve the health, growth and developmental outcomes of Nottingham s children. We will continue to prioritise the safety of children and by providing families with integrated, flexible and individualised support that intervenes at the earliest possible moment, we will prevent problems escalating. The whole family will be at the centre of our work and we will develop a true partnership with our families. We will be inclusive in how we deliver our services and be willing to work with the parent or carer, building on their strengths to improve outcomes. 6 Nottingham Children s Partnership Family Support Strategy

7 OUR CHALLENGE We have considerable evidence about the nature and extent of needs within families in Nottingham, including our Joint Strategic Needs Assessment, available at: insight/jsna/jsna-home.aspx. There are issues of health and disability, learning and educational challenges, as well as social and emotional difficulties. Often, these issues are interrelated. Many children in Nottingham are growing up to experience behavioural problems, mental illness, substance misuse, teenage parenthood, and low educational attainment as a result of impaired family life. These problems are often exacerbated by poverty. An up to date picture of the challenges we face in improving the lives and raising aspirations of our vulnerable children and their families can be found in Chapter 2 of the CYPP - Nottingham Today: Progress and Challenges. The key issues we must address are: Some families problems are allowed to escalate because no agency is willing to take responsibility early enough. The array of services available is complex and not always well co-ordinated, with different systems and definitions of need. Families can struggle to navigate their way to the support they require. We know that a small number of families with complex needs are responsible for a disproportionate amount of the workload of many agencies but we sometimes struggle to join up our response. Where issues are identified, services are sometimes too quick to refer the family on when they could support the family through their own service. Adults and children s services need to find new ways to work effectively together to ensure that when problems faced by the adults in the family are addressed, the implications for their children are also considered and addressed a more holistic approach. Sometimes there are gaps or weaknesses in service provision. Nottingham Children s Partnership Family Support Strategy

8 OUR APPROACH: We are clear that simply delivering business as usual services to tackle the present level of need in Nottingham is not enough. It will not deliver our vision. We want to get better at tackling the causes of many of these needs and empowering families to take more responsibility for their own lives. This requires us to integrate services around families and to intervene earlier and prevent problems escalating. In the long term, this will deliver much better value for money. Our broad aim is to deliver support services within a universal context, with the emphasis on prevention and early identification of additional needs. The majority of children will have their needs met within the family and by universal services. Some children will have additional needs which cannot reasonably be met through universal services and will require additional support managed through the CAF process. A smaller number will have complex needs and will require a much more extensive range of support. It is expected that children may move between the tiers of support as their needs change over time. Crucially, this de-escalation will reduce pressure on specialist services enabling them to focus more effectively on the complex and difficult cases that need very urgent and/or sustained intervention. So our priorities for are as follows -we want all services that provide support to families to be: 1. Intervening early and preventing problems 2. Integrating services 3. Family-focused: personalised and seamless 4. Accessible and inclusive 5. Empowering families to take responsibility We want to identify needs earlier, identifying children and families at risk of poor outcomes at the earliest opportunity to prevent problems developing into crises. Over time, this should reduce the need to refer families to the most intensive and expensive services. It is recognised that a number of different organisations will make a contribution to planning and delivering a wide range of support services. Good outcomes will be achieved when organisations work effectively together with families. When families use our services, we want to ensure that those services are tailored to their needs, with particular sensitivity to the needs of the child. We want services to take ownership of each family s challenges and commit themselves to finding a solution. Where there are gaps, we will commission effective services to meet those needs. This includes joint work between children s and adults services to ensure a holistic response. We want support to be more accessible and more inclusive to all forms of family and all types of carers, and make sure they can begin to get support wherever their first point of contact is. There should be no wrong front door to family support services. We will need to be more pro-active in making our services visible. We want to increase our reach and encourage families to access preventative services. The primary responsibility for raising families belongs to those families and their communities. We will complement and support this with our services. We want to work alongside families, involving them in the decision-making about what is best for them and supporting them to improve their situations, not creating more dependency. 8 Nottingham Children s Partnership Family Support Strategy

9 making it happen1 : roles and responsibilities We have set out a Statement of Responsibilities for all those involved in supporting families. We all have a role to play. All services within the Children s Partnership should: Ensure the aims and ambitions of this strategy are understood by all relevant staff across children s and adults services. We need a common vision across our services. Every member of our workforce should understand the importance to the city of supporting families that need help. Reach out pro-actively to identify families who may need help and ensure that they receive the information, advice and support necessary to help prevent problems from arising or developing. Take early responsibility for family needs as they become apparent and endeavour to assess and meet those needs where it is safe to do so, only referring where appropriate. Provide clear and accessible information about other relevant services in the city that can help families make choices, access and engage with services. Ensure that the design of services reflects wherever possible the needs and views of mothers, fathers, carers and children and young people; and those parents / carers and their children are involved in any decision-making that directly affects their family and are treated with respect. Designate a senior member of staff as CAF Champion to ensure all relevant systems, processes and supports are in place for staff to effectively implement the CAF with families. Ensure that all relevant frontline practitioners are confident in the use of the Family Support Pathway so that needs can be assessed and responded to effectively as they arise, including seamless transition from one service to another. Share appropriate information about families who are being supported with other relevant agencies, as agreed with the family. Children, young people, mothers, fathers and carers should: Take responsibility for their own situations and endeavour to meet their own needs wherever possible. Not be afraid to ask for information or seek help from any public sector service, if they need it. Share information honestly and acknowledge issues as they arise, so that services can meet their needs better. Nottingham Children s Partnership Family Support Strategy

10 making it happen 2 : strategic actions Delivery Priorities Intervening early and preventing problems Strategic Actions Develop the capacity of universal, additional and extensive services to address the needs of children and family themselves where they can do so safely and effectively. Ensure CAF is used as the main recording tool by services earlier, to assess needs and determine an intervention plan to ensure broader needs are addressed. Improve the transparency and clarity of access routes for partners to ensure that concerns are referred and assessed earlier. Integrating services Equip our workforce to be better placed to work together, identify problems early and share information through the CAF. Build knowledge, confidence and trust between professional disciplines to reduce the need for referrals and signposting and enable more services to be delivered by a practitioner known and trusted by the family. Maximise opportunities for co-location and joint delivery of services. Accessible and inclusive services Review our workforce s capacity and skills to engage hard to reach groups and provide professionals with the right skills and training. Create single points of access to services at a local level that are known and understood by families and partners. Ensure that procedures cover all vulnerable groups effectively. Family-focused services: personalised and seamless Strengthen inter-agency work with families to address issues of domestic violence, drugs and alcohol, and mental health. Embed the Family Support Pathway into the day-to-day practices of every relevant agency and service. Improve support at and through transitions, including promoting closer working between children s and adults services. Establishing effective joint commissioning arrangements for family support. and workforce planning to embed evidence-based models of early interventions. Empowering families Wherever possible involve families in decision-making in respect of services that they benefit from. Continue to support and empower all parents and carers to take responsibility for their own families and build resilience. Engage, support and enable people within local communities to develop local solutions and build resilience and resources for families in difficulty. Reduce child poverty through inter-agency work to enable more families to engage in education and employment. 10 Nottingham Children s Partnership Family Support Strategy

11 The Family Support priorities and strategic actions will directly support the delivery of the objectives of the CYPP; primarily Strategic Objectives 1 (Stronger Safeguarding and Early Intervention) and 2 (Stronger Families). Numeric targets may not be appropriate or directly measure success for all of the above actions; nevertheless expectations will be set as part of the strategy s delivery plan. However, we will also quantify expectations with specific baselines and numeric targets for the following: Reduce the repeat incidents of domestic violence Reduce referrals to children s social care Increase the number of CAFs initiated Improve the emotional health of children including those in care Increase the take-up of formal childcare by low income working families Improve services for disabled children Reduce the number of children who have experienced bullying Improve attainment of children, especially those in care Improve behaviour and attendance Reduce the number of vulnerable groups who are Not in Education, Employment or Training (NEET) Increase the number of substance misuse referrals from Children & Families Services Reduce the number of drugs offences committed by under 18s Reduce the rate of proven reoffending by young offenders Reduce the number of first-time entrants to the Youth Justice system Reduce the number of children living in poverty Nottingham Children s Partnership Family Support Strategy

12 making it happen 3 : the family support pathway A core feature of our approach to delivering family support is the Family Support Pathway. The Family Support Pathway outlines the indicators of need, assessment processes and interventions to enable us to identify at the earliest possible opportunity those children, young people and families who are very likely to experience difficulty. By focusing resources to tackle the complex causes of problems rather than just treating the symptoms, we will intervene and empower people to transform their lives and their children s future lives. The CAF is a key element of the Family Support Pathway and helps practitioners assess needs at an early stage and then work with the child and their family, as well as other practitioners and agencies to meet these needs. The CAF gives agencies working with children, young people and their families a common language to understand the needs of the child or young person and what is happening to them, and a way to gather and analyse relevant information to record and implement a plan of intervention. Initiate CAF from this point onwards ADDITIONAL SUPPORT Prevention Early Intervention Children & Young People may have impaired outcomes without support Lead Professional from this point onwards EXTENSIVE SUPPORT UNIVERSAL SUPPORT Children with additional needs Children with extensive needs Children & Young People will have impaired outcomes without support Statutory Lead Professional & Assessment Promotion of Positive Outcomes Children with no identified additional needs Information Sharing Children in need of protection Use CAF assessment triangle to assess and record PROTECTION There is an assessed risk of impaired outcomes Protection including specialist services Nottingham s Model for Prevention & Early Intervention Version 4.0, 3/2/2011 The level of support provided to a child or young person and family is based on the complexity of needs within that family. The following Family Support Pathway (please see diagram overleaf) will support practitioners in determining the appropriate level of service provision required for a child, young person and family: 12 Nottingham Children s Partnership Family Support Strategy

13 Risks reduced and needs met within effective delivery of Family Support Services Family Support Pathway SUPPORT NEEDS ACTION NEXT STEPS UNIVERSAL ACCESS AND SUPPORT Child and family are doing well and there are no significant concerns about health, development or achievement that cannot be met within universal services. Routine Health or Learning Assessment and Review Universal services can meet all needs of the child and family ADDITIONAL SUPPORT Child or family with some additional needs Child and family are experiencing problems requiring universal services to work together with other support services to prevent problems increasing. EXTENSIVE SUPPORT Child and family in need Children and families who are experiencing a range of increasing problems. With extensive multi-agency support to meet the needs of the whole family, crisis are likely to be prevented. PROTECTION Child in need of protection Children who are suffering or likely to suffer. significant harm. Additional Needs Emerging Initiate CAF and record evidence of assessment of additional needs on the CAF to establish an appropriate action plan. Support Needs Increasing Current level of support not achieving desired outcomes, continue multi-agency CAF and consider more support services. Continuing Support To ensure children and families needs are met within the CAF process. Undertake Additional Specialist Needs or Risk Assessment as required e.g. Children in Need Core/Specialist OT Assessment. Refer to Social Care Logged at CAF Central Records. Services working together to provide support and deliver an agreed action plan. (Consider need for Team around the Child and Lead Professional) Consider Locality Access Points,. if appropriate. Multi-agency responses required to meet needs and deliver an agreed action plan: - form team around the child. and family - identify a lead professional - formulate a multi-agency. action plan - Attend Multi-Agency Forum Specialist services and assessment to support universal services and supplement CAF processes If child is in need of immediate protection refer to Social Care Initial Assessment Section 47 Enquiry. Core Assessment. Children in Care Core Assessment. Child Protection Conference Child Protection Plan CIC Care Plan Nottingham Children s Partnership Family Support Strategy

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15 how we will deliver Cross-Cutting Principles This strategy will be delivered in line with the seven cross-cutting principles adopted by the. Children s Partnership: Raise aspirations Manage transitions through all aspects of children s lives Ensure that all services are accessible by and take account of the needs of vulnerable groups Engage with and listen to service users and stakeholders in developing our services Promote the environmental sustainability of investments and services Gather and use evidence of impact, more creatively and intensivly Work with others to build a city for children and young people Joint Commissioning A key part of our work will be establishing effective joint commissioning arrangements for family support to ensure that we invest our resources in a more integrated way. This will ensure that we are funding the right services to deliver the right outcomes. The four phases in our commissioning cycle are: The Nottingham Children s Partnership has agreed to increase focus on efficiencies across the partnership with the following objectives: 1. Optimise use of resources. 2. Eliminate duplication. 3. Ensure value for money. Joint commissioning will be achieved through the development of: 1. Joint budgets, with potential to move to pooled budgets. 2. Joint framework through a Joint Commissioning Unit. 3. Established Commissioning Process. Nottingham Children s Partnership Family Support Strategy

16 how we will deliver - continued Governance The work on family support is led by the Family Support Steering Group, which reports progress to the Nottingham Children s Partnership, including the Nottingham City Safeguarding Children Board (NCSCB) within the reporting framework for the strategic objectives of the CYPP. Further details of how the Nottingham Children s Partnership operates and how it is governed can be found in the CYPP. An overview of how our Partnership will work is illustrated in the diagram below. One Nottingham Nottingham City Safeguarding Children s Board Children s Partnership Board Senior Officers Group Related Partnerships Corporate Parenting YOT Board Partnership CYPP Strategic Objectives 1 Safeguarding & Early Intervention 2 Strong families 3 Healthy and positive children and young people 4 Achievement 5 Economic wellbeing A named lead senior manager for each objective will be accountable to the Senior Officers Group Engagement Through the Family Pledge Children s Charter Parents Charter 16 Nottingham Children s Partnership Family Support Strategy

17 Participation This strategy was developed in partnership with contributions from parents, carers, children and young people. It is important that children and young people and their families are involved in any decisions that affect their lives. We are committed to listening to service users, encouraging them to contribute and, where possible, acting on their views, whilst being open and honest about what is possible. Further details can be found in our Family Pledge, the Children and Young People Charter and the Parents and Carers Charter. Workforce Development The Children and Young People s Workforce is made up of everyone who works with children and their families. We can only achieve our vision for family support by recognising the central role the workforce plays through its dedication and tenacity in improving outcomes for children, young people and families across the city. Risks A Risk Register will be developed against the strategy to identify and mitigate risks to the successful delivery of our Plan. We will review this regularly in our management of performance. Current identified risk areas are: Inadequate engagement in the agreed assessment processes of the partnership. Inadequate resources to support the Strategy s priorities. Inability to align individual partners budgets and resources due to conflicting demands on resources. Failure to develop a strong and well resourced joint commissioning strategy. Political and legislative changes. We want to ensure that anyone working with children, young people and families have the right skills and tools and are confident in working with the whole family. We will support our workforce by: Agreeing a set of formal early intervention processes, programmes and assessment tools within a core training standard for the workforce. Working towards a more standardised approach to evaluating the impact of early intervention programmes. Sharing examples of excellent practice in the city and evidence of what works. For a more detailed look at workforce priorities, please see the Nottingham Children s Partnership Workforce Strategy at. Nottingham Children s Partnership Family Support Strategy

18 Conclusion The Nottingham Children s Partnership will ensure that providers of family support will work together to improve the lives of children, young people and families. By intervening earlier and empowering families to transform their lives we can build on families strengths and reduce dependency on specialist services. As national and local policy develops and the needs of families change, family support services will need to evolve through innovative and progressive ways of working. The Family Support Strategy is therefore a working document that will grow to meet the ever-changing needs of local communities. The Nottingham Children s Partnership will ensure it meets these challenges so that children, young people and families continue to receive timely and effective support in order to improve their outcomes. 18 Nottingham Children s Partnership Family Support Strategy

19 Contact Details Contact the Family Community Teams and their dedicated colleagues for help and advice within your local area: NORTH LOCALITY Multi-Agency Locality North Team: Basford Children s Centre: Top Valley & Bestwood Children s Centre: Sherwood & Edwards Lane Children s Centre: St Ann s North Children s Centre: Bulwell Children s Centre: Southglade Access Centre: Bulwell Forest Children s Centre CENTRAL LOCALITY Multi-Agency Locality Central Team: Hyson Green Children s Centre: Radford Children s Centre: Bilborough Children s Centre: North West Children s Centre: Aspley Children s Centre: Wollaton Children s Centre: SOUTH LOCALITY Multi-Agency Locality South Team: Dunkirk, Lenton & Lenton Abbey Children s Centre: St Ann s Children s Centre: Clifton Children s Centre: Meadows Children s Centre: Sneinton Children s Centre: Nottingham Children s Partnership Family Support Strategy

20 More Information Visit to download the full Family Support Strategy and find out more about Nottingham City s Strategic Partnership for Children, Young People and Families. Alternatively, contact the Families Information Service on

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