As part of our ongoing work to provide the very best services to Children and Families, we are excited to launch The Worcestershire Family Safeguarding Team. This innovation project is a new way of working for Worcestershire Children First contributing to our vision to support and value family life, whilst we endeavour to empower parents to care for their own children well.
What is Family Safeguarding?
The family safeguarding model is a way of keeping families together where it is safe to do so. This is achieved through a more collaborative way of working where parents are motivated to identify the changes needed within their own families. This helps achieve better outcomes for children.
The Family Safeguarding Model as designed by Hertfordshire County Council is a ‘whole system’ change approach to tackle the challenges around Children’s Safeguarding where the trio of vulnerabilities are present (domestic abuse, substance misuse and mental ill-health).
The aim of the model is to support Children’s social workers in tackling these risk factors through a multi-disciplinary team that can work with the adults in the family alongside the Children’s social workers. This is designed to empower and engage parents to make the positive changes needed to achieve improved outcomes for their children and their own wellbeing.
How will the Worcestershire Family Safeguarding model work?
Worcestershire Family Safeguarding (WFS) is working collaboratively with our partners in West Mercia Women’s Aid, Cranstoun, Public Health and Worcestershire Health & Care NHS Trust to bring together and support a team of skilled adults workers working alongside the child’s Social Worker and family support workers.
The WFS model reflects the strengths-based approach bringing together two domestic abuse practitioners, two recovery workers and two mental health nurses in a co-located team overseen by a Practice Manager who is a qualified Children’s Social Worker. The team offers support countywide.
The WFS Team will focus on a specific cohort of families where all the following criteria applies:
- children whom are 10 years and under, who are subject to Child Protection Plans (including those in or entering into pre-proceedings)
- families of the above where the social work assessment has identified the trio of vulnerabilities (Substance Misuse, Mental ill-Health, Domestic Abuse)
The Worcestershire Family Safeguarding Team will complement and support the work that is already being undertaken by the allocated Social Worker and Core Group by:
- providing a multi-disciplinary approach that addresses both parents’ and children’s needs
- achieving change through the skilled use of motivational interviewing techniques
- using a range of tools to develop an in depth understanding of family functioning
- using high quality reflective group supervision, within a multi-disciplinary forum, to support information sharing, strengthen decision making
- working alongside the social worker to review how the intervention is supporting parents to achieve against goals set in plans and to monitor positive outcomes for the lived experience of the children in their care