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Early Help Services

One Minute Guide - Baby Steps

What is Baby Steps?

Baby Steps is an evidence-based manualised perinatal (the early transition to parenthood) group programme for families with additional needs, increased vulnerabilities and at risk of poor outcomes. The overall purpose of the programme is to increase support available to parents from their 3rd trimester of pregnancy through to approximately 3 months following birth: the transition from ‘bump to baby’ and to prepare parents not only for the birth of their baby, but also their own transition to parenthood.

Examples of families who might benefit from the programme include parents who: are under 26yrs. of age and having their 1st baby; have experienced domestic abuse; have been in the care system; misuse alcohol or drugs; have or have had mental health needs; lack strong social networks; have or have previously had a child with a child protection plan, at child in need or receiving services from early help

The NSPCC worked with Warwick University to develop the Baby Steps programme which is based on the Department of Health’s 'Preparation for Birth and Beyond' framework for antenatal education.

What does Baby Steps involve?

Baby Steps begins with a home visit from experienced trained facilitators who introduce the detailed programme and begin to build a respectful and nurturing relationship with parents. Parents are invited to attend six weekly group sessions before baby is born, continue to receive enhanced support during ‘baby break’, and attend three further group sessions after the birth when baby comes too.  Baby Steps is available to parents irrespective of the number of pregnancies or parents age.

The programme is based on the latest theory and research and focuses on building positive and attuned relationships between parents and their baby, as well as between the parents themselves.

The programme is jointly delivered by a Baby Steps trained health practitioner (a midwife, health visitor or community nurse) and an early year’s practitioner (family support worker or early year’s family practitioner). The skills mix of these different practitioners is important to enable the programme to deal effectively with families’ emotional, social and physical needs.

However, the approach of the Baby Steps facilitators is just as important as their professional knowledge and skills. Facilitators develop mutually respectful, valued relationships with parents, which enable them to benefit fully from the programme and to model the secure relationships they can create with their child.

The programme is very interactive and delivered through a range of engaging approaches, including discussions, creative activities, quizzes and film. It covers the topics that parents expect from traditional antenatal education, such as birth, infant feeding and practical baby care alongside a focus on supporting couple relationships with activities such as ‘talk and listen’ time.

What key themes does the Baby Steps focus on?

The programme focuses on the key themes that reflect the importance of protective factors in the perinatal period:

  • Strengthening parent-infant relationships;
  • Strengthening couple relationships;
  • Building strong support networks;
  • Improving feelings of self-confidence as well as levels of low mood and worry; and
  • Helping parents to understand babies’ development

Why do we have Baby Steps?

For babies, the perinatal period is a time of incredible growth, which will shape their later development and influence wellbeing. For parents, it is also a time of significant adjustment and reflection as well as potential stress. The perinatal period is the time when the foundations for a family are laid. Without firm foundations, problems for parents and their children are more likely to emerge further down the line.

Fortunately, the perinatal period is a time when parents report being open to support, and as expectant mothers receive a lot of professional contact, it is considered an opportune time to implement prevention programmes. Many disadvantaged parents-to-be, who are most likely to need support, are less likely to access antenatal education or support over and above their standard midwife care.                                                                                                                   Swindon Baby Steps provides the universal Partnership Plus (targeted) antenatal intervention within the Healthy Child Programme 0-5yrs.

What do we have in Swindon and who are the key contacts?

Swindon has a small dedicated Baby Steps team (3.5 fte) who undertake home visits, facilitate group programmes and attend conference, Core and CiN meetings. The group programme is run from a base in the centre of Swindon making it easily accessible for parents from all over the Swindon area.

Referrals are received from midwives, health visitors, NSPCC Pregnancy in Mind programme and other practitioners who work with mothers and fathers to be, either on a Safeguarding Mother and Baby form (from Midwifery) or a Baby Steps Introduction form (available on request). These can be sent via secure email to babysteps@swindon.gov.uk or by post to ‘Baby Steps, The Meadow, Leigh Road, Swindon SN2 5DE’. It is also possible to ring the Baby Steps team to discuss a parent who may be interested in attending on 01793 465666.

The home visit is often the best way to establish whether the programme will meet the pregnant woman and her partner’s needs and is a good starting point to build effective relationships.

A new group starts each calendar month and parents are invited to attend a group with others who are having their babies within approx. 4 weeks of each other, encouraging social support and networking.

If you want to discuss a referral or find out more about the programme please call Baby Steps Operational Lead on 01793 465666 or email babysteps@swindon.gov.uk

One Minute Guide - Early Help Hub

What is the Early Help Hub Service?

The Early Help Hub was set up June 2018 as part of Swindon’s Early Help Strategy 

We are co-located, with the Multi Agency Safeguarding Team (MASH), and the Assessment and Child Protection Team, on the 3rd Floor of Wat Tyler West.

The role of the Early Help Hub is;

  • Ensure children, young people and families are given the right help at the right time, to ensure early identification and prevent escalation into statutory services
  • Deliver a coordinated response to children, young people and families requiring help and support below the threshold for statutory intervention
  • Help children, young people and families build resilience and self-reliance to enable them to find their own solutions when problems develop

What does the Early Help Hub Service involve?

The Early Help Hub receives referrals from the MASH and Assessment and Child Protection Team, where a social worker has identified that threshold for social care intervention is not met, and where there is a clear need for early help or targeted intervention. 

An Early Help Hub Worker will make direct contact with the family to explore this further.

What does the right help look like?

  • Advice, guidance and signposting to universal services and provisions
  • We may recommend an Early Help Assessment is undertaken to holistically identify the needs
  • We aim to ensure existing Early Help support is robust and meeting the identified needs
  • We may allocate some targeted support

What key themes does the Early Help Hub Service focus on?

  • Early intervention; there is a growing body of research evidence that suggests intervention, early in the child’s life, and early in the life of a problem, is key to reducing the need for statutory intervention and services
  • Coordinating the undertaking of Early Help Assessments to identify unmet needs. Working Together to Safeguard Children 2018, places an emphasis on the importance of Early Help, and recommends when professionals should be offering an Early Help Assessment.
  • Coordinating and ensuring that children, young people and families, have outcome-focussed plans, that are regularly reviewed
  • Professionals working in partnership – working together and a whole-family approach achieves greater change
  • Supporting partners to feel confident to engage and intervene with children, young people and families to offer early help

We want to ensure families get help sooner to prevent needs escalating, and reduce the need for statutory intervention. We aim to support better links across the partnership in delivery of whole family Early Help Assessments, to ensure that families receive the right support to meet their needs, but also builds on their strengths.

Why do we have the Early Help Hub Service?

National Context – National reviews have highlighted the importance of early help for improving children’s life chances and delivering better outcomes for them and their families.

The sooner we can help families, the less likely it is that their situation will worsen. 

Local Context – 362 Swindon children were subject to a child protection plan in 2018, which is a higher rate than our statistical neighbours, and the national average. This clearly indicates the need to offer help much earlier to prevent needs escalating and reduce the need for statutory intervention.

What do we have in Swindon and who are the key contacts?

We have a dedicated team to coordinate early help for children, young people and their families. 

We are committed to children, young people and their families, getting the right help at the right time, so that they can go on to flourish. 

If you would like to know more about the Early Help Hub, please contact us on 01793 466479 or send an email to EHHub@swindon.gov.uk

Please provide feedback on your experience of the Early Help Hub to ensure we continue to improve

Early Help Hub Survey

One Minute Guide - Edge of Care Service

What is the Edge of Care Service?

The Edge of Care team work intensively with families where there is a risk of the child or young person entering care or custody. The service will also support children currently in care and their families, where there is an identified plan for the child to return home. The specialist team are dedicated to supporting families to stay together when it is safe and appropriate to do so.

What does the Edge of Care Service involve?

The Edge of Care service will work with children and young people aged 10-18 years and their families. The service is voluntary, children, young people and their parents do not have to engage with the support even if this is recommended. 

The Edge of Care Family Intervention workers hold a small caseload of children, young people and families alongside their allocated Social Worker. Home visits will be undertaken with families at a frequency which is identified as most likely to meet their needs. The Family Intervention Workers will work intensively and flexibly with families open to the service over a 3 to 6 month period to co-ordinate and deliver targeted support which aims to address whole family difficulties, prevent escalation and result in better outcomes for each child and young person. The support plans will be reviewed with the family and multi-agency network on a monthly basis. 

The team is made up of passionate and dedicated multi-agency practitioners who will practice using a restorative, relational approach, ensuring that families are fully supported to make the changes needed to care for their children and to prevent their entry into the care system.

What key themes does the Edge of Care Service focus on?

Children ‘on the Edge of Care’ are those whose safety and well-being are at sufficient risk for the authority to consider removing them from their current situation for their own protection and those where parents are requesting voluntary accommodation. 

Children on the Edge of Care typically include those children:

  • At risk of out-of-home placement due to parental abuse or neglect.
  • Who are in high conflict with their families and are difficult for their parents to manage or keep safe.
  • Whose parents suffer from poor mental health, a severe disability or substance misuse
  • Who have offended or are at serious risk of offending (e.g. children excluded from school).
  • Who have previously been looked after, or those who come from families where their elder siblings are looked after.
  • At risk of exploitation.

Why do we have the Edge of Care Service?

National Context - The number of children looked after continues to increase; it has increased steadily over the last nine years. As at 31 March 2017 there were 72,670 children looked after, an increase of 3% from 2016.

Local Context - The proportion of children looked after has increased by 10% in each of the past three years within Swindon and is higher than the proportion in both similar authorities and the national average. Adolescents remain the largest group amongst those looked after and becoming looked after. Swindon also has a higher percentage than statistical neighbours of children becoming looked after with agreement of their parents (Section 20). 

We know that children’s needs are best served in their own families if this can be safely supported. One in four adolescent entrants to care – almost 3,000 young people a year – are looked after for less than eight weeks, a large, expensive and often unplanned respite service. These adolescent entrants to the system tend to experience a larger number of placements, a more disrupted experience of care and poorer outcomes in education.

What do we have in Swindon and who are the key contacts?

Edge of Care - In keeping families together, it is important that referrals focus on meeting the needs of families before they are in crisis. Therefore, there is a requirement for professionals to be sufficiently skilled to identify children on the edge of care and to refer to the edge of care service as early as possible, with the aim of de-escalating the risk of the child becoming looked after.

Referral to the edge of care service will be made by children’s social care using an up to date Statutory Assessment, full and up to date case chronology and genogram.

Edge of Custody - In reducing the risk of young people being remanded and/or sentenced to custody it is of importance that a proactive and preventative approach is applied when working with young people known to the justice system and their families.

Referrals to the edge of care service will be made by the Youth Justice Team using an up to date Asset assessment when the young person has been sentenced to a Youth Rehabilitation Order and/or Intensive Supervision and Surveillance and has a high likelihood of re-offending based on their Youth Offender Group Reconviction Score. A genogram and if accessible a full and up to date case chronology will be required.

Reunification - Evidence clearly indicates that children and young people who have returned from care are at increased risk of re-entering care, all children returning home, or to live with their extended family members should be referred to the Edge of Care service for reunification support.

In order to refer to the edge of care service agreement will be required at team manager level before the referral is submitted. The edge of care team manager will then review all referrals and discuss any potential concerns regarding suitability at the weekly Care Panel.

If you want to discuss a referral or find out more about the EoC Service please call the Team Manager on 07584 594100 or email edgeofcare@swindon.gov.uk

One Minute Guide - Education Welfare Service

What is the Education Welfare Service (EWS)?

The Education Welfare Service is a statutory service which also works with a number of schools through a traded services model. 

The service works closely with schools, parents/care giver, and with children and young people who are experiencing difficulties in attending school.   

The service will provide support and advice to families regarding; attendance issues; the law; how to apply for a school place; exclusions; and school related matters: child employment and the law; issue work permits: issue performance licenses: issue Chaperone licenses. 

The traded offer to schools include: individual case work; attendance surgeries; attendance audits; termly supervision for attendance officers; advising on school coding; leading or supporting on ‘team around the child/family meetings; legal case discussions.

The statutory function of the service includes:

Legal case work following a graduated response by schools and can involve:

  • issue of warning letters for non-school attendance
  • issue of Legal warning letters for non-school attendance
  • Processing Fixed Penalty Notice Fines (FPN)
  • Supporting the legal process through to court for unpaid fines, and aggravated offences of none school attendance
  • School attendance orders (SAO)
  • Education supervision orders (ESO)
  • Parenting orders issued by the courts

Tracking Children Missing Education (CME)

Monitoring Elective Home Education (EHE)

Issuing and monitoring child work permits

Issuing of child performance licences

Issuing of chaperone licences 

The Education Welfare Service will offer advice and guidance on attendance matters to families and professionals and will sign post as required.

What does the Education Welfare Service involve?

  • Parents can make direct contact with the EWS on education related matters and request support, advice or signposting. An Education Welfare Officer will assess the course of action depending on the needs of the child, young person and family. 
  • Schools will receive a bespoke service tailored specifically to meet the needs of individual schools as part of the traded service. Schools who do not trade with the EWS can contact the service for guidance but will not receive an allocated EWO.
  • Professionals can seek advice and guidance from the Education Welfare Service in relation to attendance matters, children missing education, children who are educated at home, child employment etc.

What key themes does the Education Welfare Service focus on?

  • Attendance Matters.
  • Poor attendance
  • Children who are Missing Education (CME)
  • Welfare of children and young people who are employed, or are child performers
  • Safeguarding.

Why do we have Education Welfare Services?

  • To carry out the statutory duties on behalf of the local authority in relation to:
  • School attendance.
  • Providing legal duties in relation to non-school attendance.
  • Tracking Children Missing Education
  • Monitoring Elective Home Education
  • Issuing Child work permits and Performance Licences.
  • Issuing Chaperone licences
  • To ensure children of compulsory school age are receiving a suitable education according to their needs either by regular attendance at school or otherwise
  • To support families in understanding the importance of good and regular attendance at school and to assist them in removing barriers that prevent this for their children.
  • To improve attendance and attainment for children and young people in Swindon.
  • To help safeguard children and young especially those who may be more vulnerable due to poor/none school attendance.

What do we have in Swindon and who are the key contacts?

We have a dedicated EWS covering all areas of Swindon.

If you have any queries or concerns please contact the service via email on:

Elective Home Education (EHE)  via EHE@swindon.gov.uk

Children Missing Education (CME) via CME@swindon.gov.uk

EHE & CME referrals from schools should be made via Schools Online

Child work permits, performance licences and chaperone licences can be requested via childlicence@swindon.gov.uk

For general enquiries or to speak with an Education Welfare Officer

Tel:  01793 465778

One Minute Guide - Family Group Conferencing

What is the Family Group Conferencing Service?

A family group conference is a process led by family members to plan and make decisions for a child or children who are at risk. Children and young people are normally involved in their own family group conference, although often with support from an advocate. It is a voluntary process and families cannot be forced to have a family group conference.  The specialist team are dedicated to empowering families to stay together, and to come up with their own solutions on how to do this, when it is safe and appropriate to do so.

What does the Family Group Conference Service involve? 

Families, including extended family members are assisted by an independent family group conference coordinator to prepare for the meeting. At the first part of the meeting, social workers and other professionals set out their concerns and what support could be made available. In the second part of the meeting family members then meet on their own to make a plan for the child. The family should be supported to carry out the plan, unless it is not safe. 

The service is voluntary, children, young people and their parents do not have to engage with the support when recommended.               

The Family Group Conference Coordinator will visit the participants of the Family Group Conference prior to undertaking the meeting. 

The Family Group Conference plan may be reviewed with the family and multi-agency network.

What key themes does the Family Group Conference Service focus on?

Family group conferences can be used in any situation where a plan and decision needs to be made about a vulnerable child. In Swindon family group conferences are requested via the Early Help Hub, where a lead professional is working with the family or via Social Care, particularly when a child is at risk of going into care.

Why do we have the Family Group Conference Service?

The family group conference approach originated in New Zealand. Family group conferences are now used in over 20 countries in the world.

Family Rights Group led the introduction of family group conferences in England and Wales, and runs the National Family Group Conference Network.

What is the evidence that family group conferences work?

Family group conference are effective in making safe plans for children, enabling many to stay within their family network as an alternative to going into care and are cost effective.

What do we have in Swindon and who are the key contacts? 

In Swindon the Family Group Conferencing Team is made up of a Family Group Conferencing Manager and 6 Family Group Conferencing Coordinators, as well as an Independent Advocate. 

If you want to discuss a referral or find out more about the Family Group Conferencing Service please call Family Group Conferencing Manager on 01793 465111 or email:  fgcservice@swindon.gov.uk

One Minute Guide - Family Service

What is the Family Service?

The Family Service work in a holistic targeted way with families committed to strengthening and improving relationships. We provide structured interventions that enable families to develop problem solving skills, build resilience and achieve positive, sustainable behaviour change.

The Family Service aims to enable families to address and overcome the difficulties that have led them to be vulnerable. We work in partnership with families in order to prevent further escalation of need.

In addition to 1:1 work with individual family members and intensive outreach working with the whole family we offer community-based group work. The Family Service accepts referrals through from The Early Help Hub, Health Visitors and step down referrals from children’s social care.  

What does the Family Service involve? 

The Family Service will work with families where there are children and young people aged pre-birth -18 years. 

The service is voluntary, children, young people and their families do not have to engage with the support when recommended. 

The Family Service Workers hold a caseload of around 10 – 15 families (pro rata).  

Home visits will be undertaken with families at a frequency which is identified as most likely to meet their needs. The Family Workers will work flexibly with all of the families open to the service for up to 6 months (longer with the agreement of the team manager)

The team is made up of passionate and dedicated multi-agency practitioners who will practice using a restorative, relational approach, ensuring that families are fully supported to make the changes needed to care for their children. 

The Family Worker will work with families to co-ordinate and deliver targeted support which aims to address whole family needs and result in better outcomes for each child and young person.  

In a small number of cases where the Family Service undertakes joint work with Social Care the family will complete a plan of work with the Family Service and this will be reviewed with the professionals and family.

At the threshold for Multi Agency Early Help the Family Service will complete an Early Help Assessment and plan.

The Family Service will co-ordinate Team Around the Family meetings when there are two or more professionals involved from different agencies.

What key themes does the Family Service focus on? 

The Family Service will support children and families whose needs require a multi-agency response due to their complexity or significance. 

  • Poor parent / child relationships
  • Parenting support and capacity
  • Absence / non-school attendance
  • Child exploitation
  • Housing concerns
  • Alcohol and substance misuse

Why do we have the Family Service?  

  • Early Help in Swindon is a collaborative approach, not a provision. All children and young people will receive universal services; however some children and young people because of their needs or circumstances will require extra support to achieve their potential.
  • The Family Service will support children and families whose needs require a multi-agency response due to their complexity or significance. The team will provide support to help children and families achieve positive outcomes in a timely way.

What do we have in Swindon and who are the key contacts?

In order to refer to the Family Service please complete a Referral Form 1: RF1

If you want to discuss a referral or find out more about the Family Service please call on 01793 465111 or email familyservice@swindon.gov.uk

One Minute Guide - Family Nursing Partnership

What is Family Nurse Partnership? 

Family nurse partnership is a voluntary, preventative, home visiting programme for first-time young mums and families. It offers intensive and structured home visiting, delivered by specialist nurses, from early pregnancy until their child reaches two years old. 

It is designed to help parents have a healthy pregnancy, improve their child’s health and development, plan their own futures and achieve their aspirations. 

FNP has three aims: to improve pregnancy outcomes, improve child health and development and improve parents’ economic self-sufficiency. 

FNP, through strong and rigorous evidence benefits the most vulnerable young families in Swindon in the short, medium and long term across a wide range of outcomes helping improve social mobility and breaking the cycle of intergenerational disadvantage.

What does Family Nurse Partnership (FNP) involve? 

The programme offers a schedule of structured home visits which can be weekly, fortnightly or monthly and which last between one and one and a half hours. Nurses are guided in their work through detailed visit-by-visit guidelines that reflect the challenges parents are likely to encounter during pregnancy and the first two years of their child’s life. Within this framework nurses use their professional judgement to address those areas where needs are greatest. 

The FNP model draws from three distinct strands of theory: human ecology, self-efficacy and attachment. These theoretical strands, woven together within a professional nursing framework, produce a unique preventive programme of great depth, breadth and vitality. 

FNP has a specific way of working with the most vulnerable families, taking advantage of an expectant mother’s intrinsic motivation to do the best for her child and working to develop and expand the strengths within a family to promote change.

 

What key themes does the Family Nurse Partnership focus on? 

·       Trauma informed practice

·       Mental health work

·       Attachment

·       Family work

·       Healthy relationships

·       Smoking

·       Domestic abuse

·       Breast feeding

·       Child development/child health (Healthy child programme)

·       Self-efficacy

 

Why do we have FNP? 

To ensure young parents in Swindon have a specialist service that supports their needs when having their first child.

What do we have in Swindon and who are the key contacts?

 

Referral criteria

First child and

Under 18 at conception

Under 20 with additional vulnerabilities

Under 25 if a care leaver 

Most referrals come directly from Midwifery however,  referrals can also come directly into  Family Nurse Partnership on 01793 466767

One Minute Guide - TaMHS (Targeted Mental Health Service)

What is TaMHS?

TaMHS is part of the Early Help Service in the Children, Families and Community Health directorate in Swindon Borough Council.

There are two parts to the TaMHS service delivery model:

Providing the single point of access and triage process for all children’s mental health services in Swindon. This is done jointly with the local provider of specialist CAMHS (Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service); Followed by assessment and intervention packages for those identified needing TaMHS help. 

Offering a traded service to schools, which includes classroom observations, consultations, and 1:1 work with young people and additional support for their families.

What does TaMHS involve? 

The TaMHS workforce are from a variety of professional backgrounds, with a variety of professional qualifications and experiences:

  • Qualified Mental Health Nurses (RMN)
  • Qualified Children’s and Adult Nurses (RGN)
  • Experienced Early Years Workers
  • Experienced Family Support Workers (Family Links Programme Leads) 

TaMHS are part of the Early Help workforce and sit within the integrated locality teams which include Health Visitors, Youth Engagement Workers, Education Welfare Officers, Targeted Mental Health Workers, Speech & Language Therapists and Educational Psychologists, working alongside children’s social work teams.

What key themes does TaMHS focus on?

The Single Point of Access

Referrals & screening

Receives referrals from General Practitioners, Paediatricians, School Nurses, Health Visitors, and Social Workers (this is not an exhaustive list). Referrals are screened daily and children are offered either a single agency assessment with TaMHS or a joint assessment with both TaMHS & CaMHS.  If an assessment is not required then TaMHS will signpost to other services, refer on to Community Paediatricians via the ASD/ADHD pathway, and to parenting support programmes (Family Links).

All single point of access referrals (referrals for both TaMHS and CAMHS) are screened, with a clinical practitioner from each service working together to review the child’s information and history and to agree a plan.

On Trak Youth Counselling, and LD CAMHS, are also part of the joint screening process on a weekly basis.  A Single Point of Access Support Officer has been appointed. The role of the post holder is to develop and embed efficient and effective processes to support the work of the single point of access team. 

Assessment

TaMHS offer 10 assessment sessions per day, two days a week, equating to 20 assessments per week. Joint screening (as outlined above) with CAMHS, ensures that referrals to CAMHS are not held up in the TaMHS waiting list.

 

Treatment

Individual sessions are offered to children following assessment using CBT based therapies and solution focussed therapies. These sessions offer support to manage anxiety, self-harm, improve self-esteem, addressing eating issues & low level eating disorders

TaMHS runs the accredited Family Links Nurture Programme for parents. All staff who run these have successfully completed the specialist three day training course. The 10 week programme, runs over a school term, and to meet parents’ needs, they are offered the choice of a morning or evening group. More recently, TaMHS has started running the “Talking Teens programme”, which is a 4 week programme for parents of teenagers.

Traded Service

TaMHS trade consultations, group work and individual work with children and young people. These are short-term interventions, tailored to meet the needs of each pupil, using evidence-based interventions, such as solution focused therapy, or cognitive behavioural therapy.  Schools can also purchase bespoke training packages, additional consultancy for school staff or parents, clinical supervision and group interventions, based on a nurture group model, such as rainbow groups and go-zone groups.  They also offer the Family Links Circle Time groups for primary schools. These run with the same themes as the parents’ programme.

Why do we have TaMHS? 

TaMHS provides the CCG commissioned single point of access and triage process for all children’s mental health services in Swindon.  The traded element of the service is for schools to purchase to complement their mental health support for pupils.

What do we have in Swindon and who are the key contacts?

 

TaMHS have a staffing compliment of 15.7 FTE including two Senior Clinical Practitioners and a Professional Lead managing the service. 

Key contacts: 

Saltway Centre

Pearl Road

Swindon

SN5 5TD

Tel:     01793 463177  

Email: TaMHS@swindon.gov.uk

 

One Minute Guide - School Nursing

What is the School Nursing Service? 

The School Nursing Service works together with children and young people, their parents/carers and school staff to provide a comprehensive efficient and accessible service. They work closely with education, social care and other health professionals, to help children and young people to remain healthy and to ensure that any health needs are met. 

When a child commences school at the age of five, care is transferred from the Health Visiting Service to the School Nursing Service. 

What does the School Nursing Service involve? 

The School Nursing Service team consists Registered General Nurses and school health screeners who have received additional training in many areas of practice such as child development, safeguarding and family work.

Many of the team are also degree level nurses with all team leaders qualified as ‘Specialist Community Public Health Nurses’.

School Nurses work within the ‘Children, Families and Community Health Services within Swindon Borough Council.

School Nurses are part of the ‘Early Help’ workforce and sit within the integrated locality teams which include Health Visitors, Youth Engagement Workers, Education Welfare Officers, Targeted Mental Health Workers, Speech & Language Therapists and Educational Psychologists, working alongside children’s social work teams.

What key themes does the School Nursing Service focus on?

Core work for School nursing in Swindon is based on ‘The Healthy Child Programme’ (NHS), local and national health directives for children and young people.

All schools and academies are offered free delivery of core services which are as follows

  • Transition discussions with Health Visitor & Reception Class teachers for children starting school with ongoing health needs
  • Vision screening for all reception children and feedback to parents by School Health Screeners
  • Hearing screening for all reception children and feedback to parents by School Health Screeners
  • Individual Health Care Plans for children requiring health care or medication during the school day
  • School staff training re: relevant medical conditions and how to support children in school
  • Height and weight screening for all reception pupils as part of the National Child Measurement Programme (NCMP), and feedback to parents by School Health Screeners.
  • Height and weight screening for all year 6 pupils as part of the NCMP and feedback to parents, by School Health Screeners
  • Individual assessment and support for families following NCMP results that identify a child as obese or underweight.
  • Senior School – Nurse led Clinics (referrals can be made by teachers; other professionals, parents & students.)
  • Sexual health services including pregnancy testing, emergency contraception and condom distribution.
  • Early help support – including early help assessments and plans
  • Targeted one to one or family work as required
  • Enuresis / Encopresis assessments and on-going support following Great Western Hospital care pathway, and working with specialist nurse.
  • Safeguarding at all levels.

Why do we have the School Nursing Service? 

School Nurses are able to work closely with children, parents and school staff to ensure children receive the health support they require whilst at school.

Routine screening programmes ensure that appropriate referrals can be made for vision, hearing and height and weight as required.

What do we have in Swindon and who are the key contacts? 

School Nurses are based within the four Swindon Localities.  Each locality team is managed by a Team leader who maintains responsibility for triaging and allocating all requests for service.

The service is delivered predominantly during term time within the school setting.

Key contacts:

Central North Locality,

The Meadow   

Tel:     01793 466174

Email: SNCN@swindon.gov.uk

 

North Locality

Palm Tree Lodge

Tel:     01793 466176

Email: SNN@swindon.gov.uk

 

Central South Locality

Reuban George    

Tel:     01793 466176 

Email: SNCS@swindon.gov.uk

 

South Locality

Saltway Centre                 

Tel:     01793 466169

Email: SNS@swindon.gov.uk

One Minute Guide - Early Outcome Fund

What is the Swindon Early Outcome Fund for …….?  

This bid was designed to;

  • Work in conjunction with Gloucester City Council to identify and support children who are at risk of or display early signs of atypical language development, particularly those aged 0-30 months, in each locality area.
  • Support to minimise the achievement gap by the age of 5.
  • Increase the number of vulnerable families accessing support with early language.
  • Create a united workforce who are all working with parents and children to support and scaffold children’s early language development.
  • Identify top 10% most vulnerable families with the support of midwives.
  • Engage families with a good Home Learning Environment that supports Children and Families, as research shows that it is an important factor in the development of early speech, language and communication.
  • Promote positive Home Learning Environments that encourage book reading, reciprocal communication and interactions through creative play.

The implementation in Swindon of this bid will address the above issues by establishing a multi-agency, family-focussed, trained team and will include:

  • 158 PEEP trained Early Years Practitioners, health and social care teams to deliver the support programme for Parents/Carers and Children, improving early language development.
  • Vulnerable families being identified early through midwifery, GP’s, Health services, schools and early year’s settings (young parents will be prioritised) and offered targeted interventions on a graduated level of support to include intensive home visits.

Hard to Reach children and families will be identified and referred through

  • Weekly PEEP stay and play sessions
  • Music and Rhyme 12 week courses, 3 terms a year, focussing on parents and children under 2 years.
  • Outreach targeted library sessions (Chat, Play, Learn)

Trained Practitioners and Parental Champions will deliver one to one sessions in the home to families that have been referred by professionals.

This one minute guide looks at the pathway for the Early Outcomes Project.

What is the pathway to access support for children in Swindon? 

Professionals can refer children who are at risk of or display early signs of atypical language development from the antenatal period onward, particularly 0 - 30 months, using the Swindon Early Outcome Fund Referral Form and returning to: swindonparentinghub@swindon.gov.uk

What key themes does the Swindon Early Outcomes Fund focus on?

  • Train 200 Early Year’s frontline staff to deliver service through a trauma informed approach using the ACE’s
  • Train 158 Professionals to an accredited level in PEEP to improve early language development.
  • Vulnerable families are identified early by Professionals.
  • A positive Home Learning Environment will be promoted and
  • An intervention aimed at raising outcomes for children and families reducing social isolation.
  • Targeted interventions on a graduated level of support to improve language and development that reaches the cohort where support is urgently required.
  • Positive approaches for improved school readiness through supporting parents to be confident in developing early communication and speech at the first opportunity from pregnancy to 30 months of age.

Why do we have the Swindon Early Outcomes Fund?

  • Children from low-income families often have language skills that are below the age-related expectations at the time they enter reception, putting them at an educational disadvantage.
  • Enriching home learning activities are consistently associated with family income and parental education, in particular higher income children are more likely to read and go on educational visits.
  • Middle and upper-income children are more likely to experience language rich home environments involving regular parent-child conversations that reflect the child’s interests.

What do we have in Swindon and who are the key contacts? 

If you are a professional identifying that a child requires help and support and you would like to know more you can contact the Swindon Parenting Hub on 01793 722984. 

All referrals should be made using the Early Outcome Bid Referral Form and sent to: swindonparentinghub@swindon.gov.uk

One Minute Guide - Innovation Fund for Alcohol Dependent Parents

What is the Swindon Innovation Fund for Alcohol Dependent Parents?  

This bid was designed to;

  • Improve knowledge, skills and confidence among Early Help Services and other front line staff to use tools and techniques to recognise the signs and symptoms of parental alcohol dependency and conflict in children’s behaviour
  • Increase the number of  Alcohol Dependent Parents (ADPs) accessing treatment services compared with national average
  • Increase the number of children of Alcohol Dependent Parents identified in early years and school settings
  • Increase the level of school attendance and attainment among children of Alcohol Dependant Parents
  • Address the gap in service provision for women experiencing domestic abuse.
  • Raise awareness of the negative impact ‘functioning alcoholics’ can have on their children who feel they can’t talk about it to anyone. 

The implementation in Swindon of this bid will address the above issues by establishing a multi-agency, family-focussed, trauma-informed virtual team and will include:

  • Delivery of a 6-week Parenting Education Programme delivered in schools
  • A peer-led programme to support the wider family/carers
  • Therapeutic support and mentoring for children affected both in groups and on a 1:1 basis
  • A Mental Health outreach intervention for children of alcohol misusing parents
  • An intervention aimed at reducing parental conflict
  • An intervention aimed at addressing PTSD among women who have experienced DV. 

This one minute guide looks at the pathway for children requiring support of alcohol dependant parents.

What is the pathway to access support for children in Swindon? 

Professionals in Swindon can access support for children of Alcohol Dependant Parents by completing a RF1 to the Multi Agency Safeguarding Hub and outlining the risk, concerns and needs of the child and family. 

The RF1 can be accessed at: RF1

What key themes does the Swindon Innovation Fund for Alcohol Dependant Parents focus on?

  • Delivery of a 6-week Parenting Education Programme delivered in schools
  • A peer-led programme to support the wider family/carers
  • Therapeutic support and mentoring for children affected both in groups and on a 1:1 basis
  • A Mental Health outreach intervention for children of alcohol misusing parents
  • An intervention aimed at reducing parental conflict
  • An intervention aimed at addressing PTSD among women who have experienced DV

Why do we have the Swindon Innovation Fund for Alcohol Dependant Parents?

Parent’s dependent alcohol and drug use can negatively impact on children’s physical and emotional wellbeing, their development and their safety.

Working together to safeguard children emphasises the importance of early identification of parents and children affected by drug and alcohol misuse.

What do we have in Swindon and who are the key contacts? 

If you are a professional identifying that a child requires help and support as a result of parental alcohol misuse please contact the MASH using the RF1 form: RF1

You can also contact the Early Help Hub for further information and advice on 01793 466479

One Minute Guide - Youth Engagement Service

What is Youth Engagement? 

Youth Engagement are part of the Early Help Service in the Children, Families and Community Health directorate in Swindon Borough Council. 

The role of the Youth Engagement Worker (YEW) was developed in Swindon in April 2011. This workforce is a team of highly skilled practitioners with a range of backgrounds from youth work, careers advice, and education.

What does Youth Engagement involve?

Youth Engagement Workers have extensive experience of working successfully with those termed as ‘hard to reach’ and ‘vulnerable’ young people .The basis of all their work is to develop productive, effective and professional relationships with young people to create opportunities for successful outcomes. The work is delivered in a variety of settings such as family homes, education settings and neutral venues. The work with young people is needs led, undertaking on-going assessment using the Early Help Assessment and Outcome Plan and employing  a solutions focussed approach to their intervention 

Youth Engagement are part of the Early Help workforce and sit within the integrated locality teams which include Health Visitors, Youth Engagement Workers, Education Welfare Officers, Targeted Mental Health Workers, working alongside children’s social work teams.

What key themes does Youth Engagement focus on?

The two main areas of work of the service are:

  • To support young people into education, employment and training by identifying the barriers to progression, acknowledging that being in employment and education is one of the major protective and resilience factors for a young person.
  • To work with young people who are engaged in high risk taking behaviours and seek to reduce the risks by individual and group interventions. 

Youth Engagement offer support to young people aged 14 to 18 with a specific piece of targeted and time limited intervention.  The involvement should not be expected to last more than 12 months. The strength of Youth Engagement is the ability to be flexible and responsive to need as well as targeted in the work delivered by the team. 

The following criteria is used to manage demand: 

Young person is unsupported or not engaged with other services.

Significant difficulty with family or peer relationships and/or behaviours which places the personal safety of the young person at risk

Young person’s inability to manage emotions which is detrimental to their development

Young people who are at risk of sexual or criminal exploitation and not open to OPAL or YOT

Young people academic age 16/17 who are NEET, or at risk of NEET, who have no identified support from other professionals/agencies

Young people in year 11 identified as red using the Risk of NEET indicator (RONI) who have no identified post 16 transition plan & no support from other professionals/agencies

Young people aged 16-17 who are eligible for Universal Credit Claims

Young people aged 14-17 that have been identified through the Troubled Families agenda

Career guidance (Information, Advice & Guidance) interventions for Children in Care year 10 & 11

Why do we have Youth Engagement? 

Local authorities have statutory duties, which were further defined by the 2008 Education and Skills Act, to identify young people who are not participating in education, employment or training (NEET). The Department for Education receives performance data from local authorities at key dates during the year.  

The service also provides support, using relationship based practice, which is a key intervention to manage risk of young people in the community.  In order to reduce the risks that young people face, workers have to establish and maintain an effective relationship with the young person.  This requires resolve, persistence, clear boundaries, clear expectations, & genuine care for the young person.

What do we have in Swindon and who are the key contacts?

 

YEWS have a staffing compliment of 15.5 FTE based with three Senior Youth Engagement Workers managing the service. 

Contact details: 

Main address:

Reuben George Hall

Royston Road

Swindon

SN3  2FD

Tel:    01793 465030  

Email: YEW@swindon.gov.uk

 

One Minute Guide - Health Visiting Service

What is Swindon Health Visiting Service?

A team of health visitors, who are registered nurses or midwives who have a specialised qualification in public health and the care and development of preschool children.

What does the Swindon Health Visiting Service involve?

The Health visiting service delivers the Healthy Child Programme, which involves contacts for parents and children from 28 weeks gestation of pregnancy until the child goes to school. These contacts review health, wellbeing and child development. They are also an opportunity to share key health promotion and accident prevention advice. 

The health visiting service offers parents support and advice around key childhood issues such as infant feeding, sleep management, promoting positive behaviour, toilet training and accident prevention within the home.

What key themes does the Health Visiting Service focus on? 

  • Healthy child programme
  • Child health, development and wellbeing
  • Bonding with your baby
  • Infant feeding, including breast feeding support
  • Support for postnatal depression
  • Support for key childhood issues; sleep, behaviour management, toilet training, accident prevention.

Why do we have the Health Visiting Service? 

We have Health visitors to promote early health and development for children. Early health advice and identification of needs promotes better health and development outcomes for children entering school and later in life.

What do we have in Swindon and who are the key contacts? 

Swindon's Health Visiting information on Swindon's SEND Local Offer, signposts parents to local resources, has details of local child health hubs 

General Enquiries  : 01793 465050

CentralNorthLocalityIntegratedBST@swindon.gov.uk

Meadows, Leigh Road, Swindon SN2 5DE 

Professional Lead for Health Visiting 07919 408395

One Minute Guide - New Beginnings

What is New Beginnings 

New Beginnings is a voluntary service offered to women (and their partners) in Swindon who have had at least one child removed from their care.

New Beginnings supports and empowers women to identify, make and sustain positive changes to their lives. Evidence from similar services in other parts of the country (for example PAUSE) , proves that these changes made when the woman is ready and identified by her, can ultimately  break the cycle of recurrent removal. This therefore enhances the potential long-term life outcomes for the woman.

The aim is to build a sense of self-worth, esteem and value in women whose life experiences may have prevented this and resulted in a spiral of self-harm and or destruction.

Referrals to New Beginnings are made by a professional who is, or has worked, with the woman prior to, at the time of or after the child is removed. New Beginnings cannot work with women who still have children in their care, are pregnant before the referral, or who live outside Swindon. There are no age limits and no restrictions on the length of time since the child/ren were removed.  

WHAT DOES NEW BEGINNINGS INVOLVE?

New Beginnings workers tailor the programme to meet the individual needs of each woman.

 Each woman is allocated to a New Beginnings worker who will work with them for up to eighteen months depending on their level of need.

The work involves building a mutually trusting, respectful and honest relationship which is a partnership and led by the aspirations of the woman. The worker will meet regularly with the woman and as often as she needs.

Most sessions are delivered as one to one in a location and at a time that is most convenient for the woman and where she feels comfortable. There are monthly group sessions where the women are invited to come together and spend a couple of hours doing an activity which is enjoyable to them, for example cooking, craft hand massage and nail painting. These groups are designed carefully not only to offer peer support and understanding, but also to give the women a break – time out - from the stress and chaos of their daily life.

New Beginnings work collaboratively with all partner agencies who are or could support the woman. We support the women to consider and make healthy choices around physical, mental, emotional and sexual health. New Beginnings sign post and support the women to attend appointments.

WHAT KEY THEMES DOES NEW BEGINNINGS FOCUS ON? 

  • Domestic Abuse.
  • Housing
  • Housing, debt and money management.
  • Education and employment.
  • Healthy Relationships.
  • Addressing alcohol and substance misuse.
  • Accessing support / counselling / therapy.
  • Good holistic health – physical, emotional and sexual.
  • Anything relevant to the woman.

 

WHY DO WE HAVE NEW BEGINNINGS?

The needs of the women referred to the service are complex and individual, a generic service could not adequately meet their needs.

Usually once a child is removed from the mother’s care all support will follow the child. This often leaves the mother vulnerable at a time when she is emotionally at her least resilient.  Her lifestyle may well become chaotic, possibly toxic and spiral downwards.

New Beginnings workers tailor the programme to meet the individual needs of each woman to redress this. The trauma informed work is delivered sensitively and without judgement to build self-esteem and empower women to change.

New Beginnings works in a collaborative way with partner agencies to meet the individual needs of the women and effect positive change.  

WHAT DO WE HAVE IN SWINDON AND WHO ARE KEY CONTACTS?

New Beginnings is part of The Family Service. Referrals can be made or discussed at newbeginnings@swindon.gov.uk. 01793 465111.

Education, Employment and Training (EET)

The vast majority of young people continue in education or training when they leave school, and make a successful transition to Further or Higher education or employment. But there are still too many who either ‘drop out’ or struggle to make the transition to the labour market at age 18-19.

The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) and Department for Education (DfE) define young people who are not in any form of education, employment or training as NEET. Education, Employment and Training are defined as:

Education:          Any formal course of education (full or part-time)

Employment:      Any paid work (including part-time or temporary work), self-employment. Employment does not include voluntary work or work experience.

Training:             Any formal employment-related training course (full or part-time) and including Traineeships, ‘Basic Skills’ and engagement programmes for the most disengaged. It does not include Support Contract modules, CV writing etc.

The role of Local Authority Services in England

Raising the Participation Age

Since the start of the 2013/14 academic year, young people have been required to participate in EET for longer. Since 2015 they have been required to participate in EET until they turn 18. This does not mean that they need to remain in school; they may be in any form of education or training, an apprenticeship, or combine full time employment (or voluntary work) with accredited part-time learning.

DfE has published statutory guidance which sets out this duty, and the role of local authorities in more detail – Participation of young people in education, employment or training Statutory: guidance for local authorities

Education and training

DfE, through the Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA), funds education and training for young people aged 16-19 and 20-24 with a learning difficulty or disability (LDD) in England. This might be in school. College, training provider or traineeship/ apprenticeship provider.

For those not yet ready for mainstream education or training, re engagement programmes – for example Building Bridges and the Get Ahead programmes in Swindon, or other programmes run by the community or voluntary sector – may be offered.

Local authorities are responsible for ensuring there are sufficient places to meet the needs of young people and work with the ESFA to identify and fill any gaps that emerge.

Support to participate

All local authorities have a duty to help 16-19 year olds, and 20-24 year olds with LDD, to participate in education or training and to provide targeted support to those who are NEET. They have flexibility to do this in a way that best meets local needs. A provision map of services and providers available in Swindon that will help young people, their families, carers and professionals navigate route into employment is being worked on and will be available online by April 2020.

September Guarantee

All 16 and 17 year olds are entitled to an offer of a suitable place in education or training by the end of September each year. Local Authorities are responsible for leading this process, tracking offers made to young people and providing support to those yet to receive an offer.

Tracking young people’s participation

To enable them to fulfil their duties, local authorities need to be able to identify young people who are not participating, and assess their needs. Local authority services maintain a database of 16 – 19 year olds resident in the area but must draw heavily on information from education and training providers, youth services and Jobcentre Plus to keep the database up to date. As a local authority, our performance in relation to this is measured nationally on a regular basis.

Financial support to continue in education and training

The 16-19 Bursary Fund provides financial support to disadvantaged young people in England to help them to continue their education or training. The most vulnerable young people - those leaving care; or in receipt of certain benefits are eligible for a significant bursary.

Young parents in England are also able to claim Care to Learn to cover their childcare costs while they are participating in education or training.

Information for young people and their parents/ carers is available at Gov.uk 16 to 19 bursary fund page

Information on Care to Learn is available at Gov.uk's Care to Learn page

Benefits

16-17 year olds are, in certain circumstances eligible to claim benefits. Relatively few 16 and 17 year olds engage with the benefit system and therefore do not come into contact with Jobcentre Plus. However, for those that do, it is particularly important that Jobcentre Plus and the LA contractors work closely together to ensure the smooth processing or benefits and ensure the provision of good quality information, advice and guidance to help young people engage with education, employment or training.

Advice on Benefits can be found here:

Gov.uk benefits page

Citizens Advice benefits page

Key SBC teams working on EET

YEW Service, Routes to Employment, SEND Team, YOS Team, Social Care Teams, Performance, Intelligence and Insight

Links to Other Early Help Services

This page contains links to services that help children and young people.

 

Parents and carers

Information for parents and carers, about services for children and young people: 

 

Schools and Early Years

Swindon Traded Services offers high quality services that enable schools to help children and young people fulfil their potential in life

 

Practitioners

For practitioners wanting to know about services for children and young people,

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