Multiple Intervention Assistance - Families First

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1 Main Tel: Civic Centre, Castle Street, Merthyr Tydfil CF47 8AN CABINET - INFORMATION REPORT Date Written May 2016 Report Author Joe Rhys- Jones Service Area Children s Services Exempt/Non Exempt Non Exempt Committee Date 13 th July 2016 To: Chair, Ladies and Gentlemen Multiple Intervention Assistance - Families First 1.0 SUMMARY OF THE REPORT 1.1 This report provides Cabinet with information about Early Intervention and Prevention in Children s Services and specifically the role of Multiple Intervention Assistance (MIA) under Families First funding. 1.2 MIA has moved into the management portfolio of Children s Services as part of our plan to strengthen our delivery of preventative services to children and their families. 2.0 INTRODUCTION AND BACKGROUND 2.1 The Social Services and Well-being (Wales) Act 2016 and the Future Generations (Wales) Act 2015 requires us to ensure that we plan and deliver effective early intervention and prevention services that prevent the escalation of need to high risk, high cost and less effective interventions. 2.2 The case for transformational change in delivering sustainable social services has been made previously and is supported by elected members and officers. 2.3 The Social Services Children s strategy identifies early intervention and prevention as central to achieving our outcome of improving the well-being of children and young people in Merthyr Tydfil. It also represents the key pathway to sustainability in children s social services for future generations.

2 2.4 The Looked after Children s Prevention strategy sets out the Council s ambition for preventing children and young people from becoming looked after. This strategy s success is in part owed to the effective delivery of related preventative services. Cabinet has recently received a report in relation to Information Advice and Assistance (IAA) which is also an element of prevention. IAA aims to achieve the transformational change required in changing the public s perception of social care and help seeking behaviour by encouraging parents and young people to access a little help at the right time before problems get worse. Families approaching the IAA service can access MIA if that is the appropriate support. MIA is delivered by Families First Funding and provides support to vulnerable families living in Merthyr Tydfil who have additional needs that are over and above those that are met by universal services but are below the threshold for statutory interventions. 2.5 By including MIA in the Children s Services portfolio we are increasing our potential to deliver effective preventative services in close collaboration. This step enhances the potential to influence targeting of the service and maximise the outcomes for children and families. Across Wales it has been noted that strong performance in prevention is linked to this type of service being located within the children s services management portfolio. 3.0 MULTIPLE INTERVENTION ASSISTANCE (MIA) 3.1 The MIA programme has been operational since April 2012 and is available to all families living in Merthyr Tydfil with children aged 0-18 years of age who need additional multiple support services in addition to the universal services that they are already receiving eg. education and health care. The MIA coordination team are directly responsible for managing the Barnardos key worker contracted provision (including young carers) and the Workforce Development contract while collecting and collating all other data from services managed directly by the Families First team. 3.2 The aim of the MIA programme is to ensure that families living in Merthyr Tydfil who are in need of care and support that does not meet the threshold for statutory intervention are able to identify constructive solutions to their difficulties in order that the entire family unit can enjoy positive, meaningful lives and become resilient and independent. MIA also supports families following statutory intervention with a view to sustaining changes and preventing re-escalation of need. This is known as step down. 3.3 Families in Merthyr Tydfil that are likely to need the services of MIA may be experiencing difficulties in any of the following areas of their lives Housing, Finance, Education, Health and Wellbeing, Parenting or Children s behaviour. The MIA Programme is a multi agency partnership consisting of professionals from various agencies, these agencies depending on the type of support will be key workers to families where a referral is accepted. The Key Worker Agencies include: MTCBC Youth Support MTCBC Family Learning Team Cwm Taf Youth Offending Service MTCBC Education Barnardo s

3 Cwm Taf Local Health Board Drug Aid Safer Merthyr Tydfil 3.4 A robust MIA referral process has been established which enables the early identification of a family s additional needs for preventative support. The referrals are coordinated by the central MIA Coordination Team and the team track the progress of the referral to presentation at the MIA Panel and the allocation of a key worker. 4.0 RESOURCES 4.1 The MIA Coordination Team is based in the Civic Centre and the team facilitate the MIA Panel process, the Steering Group as well as champions and key worker fora. The Team consists of the MIA Coordinator, the MIA Administrator and the Family Information Service (FIS) coordinator; all of the posts report to managers within Children s Services, specifically the Wellbeing and Early Response Service. The FIS coordinator will be fundamental to the MTCBC Information Advice and Assistance Service which is currently being developed within Merthyr Tydfil and will become fully functional later in the year and by September THE MULTI INTERVENTION ASSISTANCE (MIA) PANEL 5.1 All key worker agencies contributing to the MIA Programme are represented on the MIA Panel. The MIA Panel is chaired by the Team Manager of the Intake and Assessment Team, Children s Services, this arrangement is seen as critical in ensuring safeguarding and risks are managed effectively. 5.2 The Panel meets fortnightly to discuss progress of cases, to accept and allocate referrals to the MIA key worker agencies, to receive updates and progress and agree closures. The Panel will also consider the need to step up certain families where presenting issues have escalated to a level that meets the threshold for statutory services. Many of the referrals to MIA service will be made by the Information Advice and Assistance service and other referrals are made as part of a step down plan within Children s Services teams where statutory services are no longer required. 6.0 GOVERNANCE ARRANGEMENTS 6.1 Governance arrangements for MIA were established from the outset to ensure a robust infrastructure for reporting to the overarching Partnership Board. This consisted of a multi-agency Steering Group which has overall responsibility for the MIA approach and a multi agency Panel. Recent changes present an opportunity to review the governance arrangements to ensure maximum preventative impact and full engagement with partner organisations.

4 7.0 PERFORMANCE 7.1 The MIA Programme responds to the Welsh Government s Poverty Strategy. Child Poverty persists in the UK, 33% of children in Wales live in families whose income is 60% below the UK average, higher than the UK rate of 27%. A Fair Start for every child: Save the Children Policy Briefing Wales May Family Support provided by MIA is a key component to successfully improved outcomes for families meeting priorities within the Single Integrated and Corporate Plan ( ) specifically: Raising Standards of Attainment and skills Employability Healthy Lifestyles Promoting Independence Meeting the Needs of vulnerable children Employability 7.3 The MIA service, under the terms and conditions of the funding allocated, have been required to establish monitoring arrangements for measuring progress on service delivery and impacts on the families it supports. These are: 60% families issues that are dealt with successfully within 12 months. 20% families issues that are dealt with successfully within 24 months. 15% families issues that have escalated so supported to access support from Social Services. Less than 5% families disengaged outcome unknown. 7.4 Performance highlights from last year evidence that overall the key outcomes for families have continued to improve. More cases are closed with a successful intervention than for any other reason and the amount of step ups to Social Services has dropped for most agencies. Barnardo s continue to close more cases successfully than other agencies, although they were the only agency percentage of successful interventions to drop in year 2 compared to year 1. This allows the MIA programme to continue to drive up standards and improve outcome for the families supported. 7.5 The overall conclusions for the MIA satisfaction survey last year were very positive. Of those key partners who responded 100% of respondents rated MIA co-ordination team as excellent, very good or good for: Highlighting and sharing good practice. Supporting partnership and collaborative working. Staff being able to offer enthusiastic, skilled and resourced support. Leadership and management of the MIA Programme. 8.0 AREAS FOR IMPROVEMENT 8.1 The following has been identified as MIA s areas for improvement: Improve reporting mechanisms

5 Build on links with the Information and Advice Service and ensure referral process remains streamlined avoiding delay in order that the right families continue to get the right service at the right time. While good links have been made operationally with Housing Services through MIA Key Workers, there is a need to improve the strategic planning and monitoring of interventions with all Registered Social Landlords. There is a need to further develop and implement a Team Around the Family (TAF) Quality Framework. Review and develop the governance arrangements for the MIA Service. Further investigate and establish a model to evaluate Value for Money for the MIA Programme. Improve wider consultation with families in order to assist with the planning and monitoring of the overall MIA programme. 9.0 FINANCIAL IMPLICATIONS 9.1 The MIA service is funded by the Welsh Government s Families First initiative and receives grant funding of 356,360 (of which 235,000 is the Barnardo s contract). This is a reduction of 17,640 from 2015/ SINGLE INTEGRATED PLAN AND SUSTAINABILITY IMPACT SUMMARY 10.1 The Single Integrated Plan & Sustainability Impact Assessment has been completed and the proposals positively impact on all aspects of the Corporate Plan and Single Integrated Plan. No negative impacts have been identified EQUALITY IMPACT ASSESSMENT 11.1 An Equality Impact Assessment (EqIA) form has been prepared for the purpose of this report. It has been found that a full assessment is not required at this time. The form can be accessed on the Council s website/intranet via the Equality Impact Assessment link. LISA CURTIS JONES CHIEF OFFICER FOR SOCIAL SERVICES CLLR LINDA MATTHEWS CABINET MEMBER FOR SOCIAL SERVICES BACKGROUND PAPERS Title of Document(s) Document(s) Date Document Location LAC Prevention Strategy Information Advice and Assistance April 2015 June 2016 Unit 5 Unit 5 Does the report contain any issue that may impact the Council s No Constitution? Consultation has been undertaken with the Corporate Management Team in respect of each proposal(s) and recommendation(s) set out in this report.

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