Decision - New Referral Process for Children in Need to Children's Social Work
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New Referral Process for Children in Need to Children's Social Work
Decision Maker: Children & Young People Committee
Decision status: Recommendations Approved
Is Key decision?: No
Is subject to call in?: No
22.1 The Committee considered a report of the Strategic Director, People outlining proposals to change the process of professional referral to ACAS the front door Social Work Service in Brighton and Hove. The proposal was that all professional referrals for Children in Need should in future require a family CAF process in place prior to referral being accepted. This would not apply to child protection referrals.
22.2 It was explained that the Working Together to Safeguard Children new guidance had been out for consultation until September 2012. It outlined the framework for safeguarding children and young people across the whole pathway including early help services. Brighton and Hove had signed up and committed to a whole family process of supporting families, recognising that this approach was likely to be most effective, time efficient and ultimately result in better outcomes for both children and families.
22.3 Councillor Pissaridou sought clarification regarding the mechanisms for identifying the needs of children and their families and how and by whom support could be initiated. It was explained that this could be instigated by a number of agencies, health visitors, schools, SENCO’s and sometimes by families themselves.
22.4 Rachel Travers Amaze/VSA stated that she was concerned regarding the level of resource intensive work required of the voluntary sector without the levels of support being in place for them to do so. It was explained that collaboration between agencies was fostered to facilitate input by others as well as lead professionals. This was totally separate however from child protection referrals. Head teachers had indicated that they wished to be instrumental in driving this forward and to be included in a multi-agency approach to planning and integration.
22.5 Alan Bedford, Chair of the Safeguarding Children Board commended the work carried out by the Council in this respect.
28.6 RESOLVED – That the Committee accept the proposal that, if Family CAF numbers do not reach target levels by the end of October 2012, all professional referrals for Children in Need to Children’s Social Work from 1 January 2013 would require a Family CAF process in place prior to referral being accepted. The timescale has been extended from 1 November to enable maximum consultation and discussion with partner agencies over the next three months.
Report author: Ellen Jones
Publication date: 15/10/2012
Date of decision: 15/10/2012
Decided at meeting: 15/10/2012 - Children & Young People Committee