Definition of Early Help has not changed; it’s defined as “Intervening as soon as possible to tackle problems emerging for children, young people aged 0-18 and their families” (based on Eileen Munro’s principles).
In 2017 Ofsted inspection Croydon had an overall inadeguate rating; with regards to Early Help, li the inspection found there was inconsistent application of thresholds and individual partner agencies were unclear about the Early Help offer. The Strategy wants to work on this.
The Early Help work will be delivered in 3 Localities (North, Central and South), based on the recent Best Start work.
There will be three Hubs, one in each locality. Winterbourne Youth Centre, Turnaround Centre and Birdhurst will be the three Hub buildings. Each Hub will have a telephone number; you can contact them by email for now (see presentation below).
There will be Partnership panels in each area, where practitioners can go if they need support in working with specific children and young people and put the right intervention in place. Weekly, a lead professionals and information sharing will be key elements of these panels.
There is 0-18 workforce now, after a re-structure of the Council teams, to avoid sectioning the offer into age related stages. Peer to peer support and a supervision system that supports sharing specialist knowledge a cross the team are key.
Level 1 to 2: Agencies can use their own form to capture information on the families they work with by using their own forms or the ‘Family Well-being assessment & outcomes based plan’, created by the Council that will be available in the website soon.
Level 2 to 3: There will be a refreshed Early Help Referral form to be considered by the Single Point of contact if agencies want to make a referral. Families should be allocated within 24 hours. There are also two workers at the Single Point of contact (SPOC) now to have a conversation with practitioners who are unsure about whether there is a need and what’s available. SPOC consultation 0208 726 6400 (Monday 9am-5pm).
Level 3 to 4:
Intensive or targeted work will be offered in each locality including DV support, mental health, substance misuse, family therapy, family mediation etc.
For urgent child protection matters that require the same day intervention from a SPOC social worker call 0208 255 2888 (Monday 9am-5pm).
The Council wants consent to be gained only once and the number of assessments will be minimized. The focus wants to be on the child.
The above information is from the Early Help Strategy session at Croydon Voluntary Action, 31/1/2019. You can download presentations by clicking on the link below.