Agenda item

Delivering Effective Safeguarding Services for Children - Early Years Help and Innovation Project

To receive and consider a presentation on the Early Years Help and Innovation project from the Head of Strategic Commissioning.


The Committee received and considered a presentation from Brian Grady, Head of Strategic Commissioning, Children’s Services, detailing the work being done on the Early Help and Innovations project. A copy of the presentation is attached.


Brain explained that Wokingham has been part of a pilot group of 10 Local Authorities involved in the national innovation programme lead by Professor Eileen Munro.  The programme is around the development of a new way of working to safeguard children, which goes beyond intervention and is about anticipation and prevention.  The work is about working with families in a multiagency approach, and redesigning services to meet their needs.


The programme’s changes involve:

·           radical service redesign to enable changed working practices with families;

·           a workforce development package, building and retraining their skills and confidence to sustain new working practices and understand outcomes

·           integrating interventions and pathways, developing a single operating model.

Implementation of the changes is led by managers close to the front line, and there needs to be political and senior management support to allow staff to work differently.  The Children’s Partnership is also taking a led.


One of the new workstreams is Front Door – a triage system for child protection and health, with effective liaison with the Police and others.


The following points were made in response to Members’ questions:

·           the programme of work started about 18 months ago before we became part of the pilot.  The model was evaluated at the end of 2014;

·           the Overview and Scrutiny Committee needs to demonstrate that they are assured that the innovation programme is working and that the governance arrangements make sense;

·           Suggest that the Thames Valley Police be invited to the July meeting to explain their contribution to the ‘Front Door‘ initiative;

·           A report on the impact of the Front Door initiative can be presented to the September meeting;

·           There are a number of channels of communication with voluntary groups involved with children and families to encourage them to report potential problems and give them training and support.  The Local Safeguarding Children Board (LSCB) is accountable for the key players;

·           Currently there is a debate within the Children’s Partnership and the LSCB around the issue of identification of potential problems pre-natal.  This would involve GPs and Health Visitors in following up. 

·           Agencies have to account for what they do by recording and passing on information to health services/midwifery and social care to make risk assessment with multiagency involvement;

·           Currently there are not enough issues checked around families; early identification and intervention requires confidence;

·           There is workforce training programme for all staff including highlighting good practice and to give them confidence.   Middle managers, also get management support/training;

·           The pilot is managed by three consultants, and we have a monthly consultation with one of them then every second month there is a workshop with all three.  We can also draw on additional expertise.  Some things are being worked up for national distribution.  We are being challenged to come up with ideas and solutions which can be tested and then reported.


RESOLVED:  That the information received on the Early Help and Innovations Project as part of delivering effective safeguarding services for children be noted.  The following updates be received at future meetigns of the Committee:

1)   The Thames Valley Police be invited to the July meeting to explain their contribution to the ‘Front Door‘ initiative;


2)   A report on the impact of the Front Door initiative be presented to the September meeting.


Supporting documents: