LSCBLocal Safeguarding Children Board Northamptonshire

Changes for 'Early Help' and 'Troubled Families'

Since the launch of the 'Troubled Families' model in 2012, we have helped over 1,000 families turn their lives around. Our ambitions don’t stop there – we want to help over 4,000 families to be stronger by 2020.

To achieve our ambitions, we are making some changes to Early Help in Northamptonshire.

These will be phased in over the next 3-6 months so that Practitioners and the children and families we work with have time to adjust to the changes.

Our partner organisations have given positive feedback about the Troubled Families model:

  • 70% said the model helps to build relationships between partners and got things moving for families;
  • 75% said the model created a good intervention broker and helped kick-start support for families; and
  • 72% of practitioners said the model gave useful information and insight into the families they worked with.

We want to take the best of Troubled Families and apply it broadly across all of Early Help.

Troubled Families will become 'Early Help Families'.

The benefits of this include:

  • A risk profiling approach to find families quicker;
  • More data and intelligence sharing to get faster help to families;
  • Being proactive in the way we reach out to families; and
  • Working as a team to ‘grip’ a family’s challenges and to help them rebuild.

Four improvements launching in May 2015:

1.  A new Early Help option will be available on the 0300 126 1000 contact number

This is for cases with an open CAF or where a CAF recommendation has been made. Dial 0300 216 1000 and select option 2. If you have safeguarding concern or child protection issues, option 3 will still be available to you. Option 2 is simply an additional way for you to get fast advice, information and guidance about Early Help.

2.  A new Early Help Support Service dedicated to offering advice and guidance to Professionals working with children and families in need of Early Help.

The team comprises familiar faces from the CAF Coordinators team and the Troubled Families Team. There will be named Early Help Coordinators for every locality so you have a ‘go to’ person for Early Help support. The Coordinators will also be proactive in coming to you to identify those children and families who might benefit from Early Help (an approach taken by Troubled Families that you told us you particularly valued).

3.  Early Help Coordinators in the MASH

These are staff from the Early Help Support Service whose role is to give you support and make sure families gets Early Help if your case has come through the safeguarding route, especially if the family don’t meet the threshold for statutory services.

4.  Domestic violence specialist support in the MASH

These workers will support both Early Help and safeguarding cases, and will provide high quality advocacy and support to survivors of domestic violence, as well as to professionals and Practitioners.

Other changes coming soon include:

  • A more straightforward and family focussed Early Help Assessment to help you and families identify what’s working well and what they want to change;
  • The Early Help Families risk profiling tool and Early Help Families list;
  • A package of training, learning and development, free for professionals working with children and families who need Early Help, to help you build confidence and skills in early help practice;
  • More early help interventions and services to help families when they need it – and simpler ways to access them; and
  • A revised Early Help Strategy for consultation.

We believe this set of changes will dramatically improve your experience of the Early Help system. Professionals working with children and families in need of Early Help are the most important part of our approach and we want to hear your feedback to make sure we’re getting it right for you.

For further information please email Becca Winwood, Early Help Families Programme Manager.

Last updated: 07 May 2015

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