Children and Young People's services in Suffolk work in multi-agency teams using the Signs of Safety practice framework.
This brings Social Care and Early Help Services into combined, more local, integrated teams to work in accordance with the principle of one family, one plan, one lead worker to establish a sustained relationship more likely to bring about change.
There are a number of other social work teams across Children and Young People's Services. Find out more about the responsibilities of each team.
Child in Care (CiC) Teams
There are four specialist Children in Care teams dealing with care proceedings, LAC and permanence.
Social Workers in the CIC teams are responsible for ensuring all children who are “Looked After” receive the support and services they need to allow them to grow up in stable, warm, healthy environments so they can reach their potential.
Very importantly, these teams hold enormous expertise in the court area and support or lead on cases within the court process and through the adoption process.
Disabled Children and Young People Teams
Social Workers in the Disabled Children’s teams deliver the same services as 0 to 19 CIN Teams.
What makes their role different is the very particular skills and knowledge they need to work with children who have significant physical or developmental challenges. Families caring for disabled children have to develop additional skills to ensure their children are well cared for.
Social Workers in disabled children’s teams work with families to support and assist them in gaining insight and skills.
Fostering and Adoption Teams
The Fostering and Adoption team work together as one team with specific identifiable areas of responsibility: Permanence Support Team offer support to children and their families that are living away from their birth parents in either, Adoption, Special Guardianship, Permanent Fostering or Link care.
Recruitment, Assessment & Matching Team is responsible for the county wide recruitment and assessment of foster carers and adopters. The team holds responsibility for matching children to adopters and permanent carers and supporting these new families throughout the initial months.
Fostering Changes for Children Team is responsible for delivering services to Unaccompanied Asylum Seeking Children; Privately Fostered children and their carers; and all Connected Person/Kinship Foster Carers. Short term and Intensive Fostering Team provides support and supervision to mainstream fostering households who are caring for children in emergency, short term and short break placements.
The team also comprises of ‘Zipwire’ which is a therapeutic intensive support programme enabling children with a very high level of need to remain in a family foster placement. Each team is led by a Practice Manager and has Consultant Social Workers, Experienced Social Workers, Social Workers and Family Support Practitioners.
Local social care teams and Children in Need (CiN) Teams
Local social care Teams
We have thirteen local social care teams who work with children and families on Children in Need (CiN) and Child Protection plans and the initial work on care proceedings and s20.
Each team is led by a practice manager and has consultant social workers, experienced social workers, social workers and newly qualified social workers.
Make a Change (MaC) and Positive Choices Teams
Make a Change
Make a Change Team (MaC) oversees the response of social work teams to child exploitation. This includes child sexual exploitation, missing from home or care, being involved with drug running/gangs, trafficking, radicalisation.
Within the Innovation Programme, the team joined Barnardos in delivering services to those at risk of or suffered Female Genital Mutilation. MaC has responsibility to ensure all teams provide consistent assessments of all forms of exploitation. An overarching view of practice enables them to intervene and address any gaps and support social workers in direct work with young people at highest risk of exploitation. Workers offer continuity where perseverance may assist in a disclosure.
The team work alongside other agencies to provide a multi-agency approach, examples include: Tactical and Tasking Co-ordination Group focusing on those most vulnerable due to being missing and the Vulnerable to Radicalisation Panel who intervene with young people involved with extremism.
Positive Choices focuses on women who have suffered the trauma of more than one child being removed from their care and offers them a different perspective and choice. This is a different initiative as the focus is adults, with the targeted outcome being to prevent those pregnancies, which may lead to children requiring alternative care.
University of Essex has worked alongside Suffolk CYPS, undertaking research and offering strategies to further develop on proven positive outcomes. This has received interest from other local authorities who are following the model with our assistance.
Family Solution Teams
This is a multi-disciplinary team that delivers intensive targeted support over a 12-week period with children and their families.
The team provide specialist preventative and planning work with children and young people on the edge of care. The aim is to divert children and young people away from Local Authority care by helping families find methods of managing their own difficulties and creating safety plans.
They are also involved in reunification planning of children from being Child in Care to returning to their family network.
The leaving care service is responsible for children who have entitlement under the Children (Leaving Care) Act 2000, which may extend up to the age of 25. There are 3 teams across the county. They support young people who are over the age of 16 years old, through Pathway planning, to acquire the skills and abilities needed to successfully move into adulthood and independent living.
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