Over the last 2 years we have piloted and rolled out a Family Support (FS) model. Originally a direct response to evident and emerging needs in our Childcare service during the pandemic, it has developed to become a formalised and integrated core support. Our FS team works alongside our Youth and Childcare services which distinguishes us from other providers.
As we have formalised our approach and built partnerships with statutory agencies we now receive direct referrals into Childcare and Youth spaces. These are typically from Tulsa but and increasingly directly from schools teams. As these relationships have developed we are better able to support vulnerable families using an interagency approach.
Referrals; Children, young people and families referred are particularly vulnerable and at risk and can find it hard to access other services given the complexity of need. The FS team conducts around 30 assessments each month and we have over 100 families on our vulnerable family register. We have direct contact with social workers, HSCL (Home school Liaison Officers), EWOs (Education welfare Officers), public health nurses, etc. We see a proven need for and an impact from this service.
We respond to the individual child and family by assessing their needs and carefully tailoring a package of services to respond to those needs. FS is about providing support to vulnerable children, young people and families. As FS has progressed we are aware of an increase in the needs of the families within our services and an increase in the complexities of the needs these families are facing. Our ultimate objective is to equip families with the necessary skills to better cope and thrive, particularly in times of crisis.