Early Intervention success

Thursday, 16 June 2022 11:28

The Council’s Social Work Services Committee [10.06.22] will consider a report updating members on the progress of the Transformation Change Agenda: Early and Effective Intervention Family Support.

The Committee will be asked to note the progress and achievements of the Family Support Service.

In July 2020, the Council agreed support for investment in early and effective intervention to fulfil the costs needed to deliver transformation change, enabling work towards cost avoidance.

An investment of £1.185m was agreed, representing £535,000 a year for 3 years, to support early and effective intervention family support work along with an investment of £70,000 a year for 3 years to increase the commissioned service with Third Sector providers.

The Family Support Team was formed in November 2020 to lead and deliver on the Early and Effective Intervention. The team has subsequently supported 129 families, involving 226 children.

Work continues throughout the region, including collaborating with the Children’s and Families Social Work Services Area Teams, partners, and third sector organisations, including NHS Drugs and Alcohol Service.

Reasons for referral include neglect, poor home conditions, poverty, physical abuse, sexual abuse, domestic abuse, poor parental mental health, drug/alcohol misuse, parenting capacity, help needed with routines and boundaries, and managing challenging behaviour. In addition, some children have been referred because of poor school attendance, children`s mental health, and isolation. The team also works with some families from pre-birth, supporting with early parenting.

Key successes include children remaining in their families and communities, and a reduction in children needing a statutory social work involvement.

Working with more families on a voluntary basis means that social work intervention can come to an end earlier in a planned timescale when family safety and support plans have been achieved.

Councillor Andy Ferguson, chair of the Social Work Services committee, said: “I’m pleased that our commitment to a policy of early intervention in family support is making a substantial difference and improving the outcomes for some of our most vulnerable young people.”

Councillor Iain Howie, vice chair, said: “The evidence shows that our early intervention approach is significantly improving the life chances for vulnerable families and young people throughout the region.”