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Preventing Care Proceedings

In Depth

Duty of care: key questions

Child abuse lawyer Peter Garsden explains the implications for councils of recent Supreme Court ruling.

Making the case for intervening earlier

Building on the impact of the Troubled Families programme can be vital for securing the future of early help in upcoming spending review.

Troubled Families programme: its impact and what should replace it

An evaluation of the government's Troubled Families programme suggests it has helped cut care rates by a third as councils invested millions in early help. With the scheme due to end, leaders say the funding must continue.

Legal Update: Preventative and early intervention services

Early help prevents problems faced by children and families from escalating, but funding pressures have seen services scaled back.

Councils develop programmes to reduce impact of parent conflict

Councils took part in a pilot to reduce parental conflict because of the damage it does to children. As the initiative is to be extended, leaders came together to explain how they engaged agencies and practitioners in the programme.

The future of early intervention: roundtable debate

Children's services leaders discussed how local authorities can provide effective early intervention against a backdrop of rising social need and continued financial constraint at a debate hosted by CYP Now in partnership with Capita One.

Government turns to innovation programme to address care rise

Three projects aimed at preventing children coming into care and helping those already in the system to leave are to be expanded to 20 councils. Experts call for greater emphasis on supporting families to stay together.

Restructuring children's services on early intervention approach

EIF blueprint for the future of early help recommends better co-ordination of support for vulnerable families including long-term funding, a cross-government taskforce and commitment to evidence-based practice.

Frontline funds: social workers to get budgets to support families

Councils are to trial giving social workers money to spend on practical help for families, such as a new fridge, short break or childcare. Experts say the funding will be targeted at children most at risk of care proceedings.

The team you call out in a crisis

Liverpool's Instant Response Team works with families to help stop children going into care, winning the 2017 CYP Now award for public sector children's team of the year. Tom de Castella followed them on a typical day.

Help for children of alcoholics

Councils should create drop-in centres to support children whose parents misuse alcohol, says expert.

New Ofsted social care chief hails era of intelligence-led inspections

Yvette Stanley, Ofsted's new director of social care, says the latest children's services inspection framework focuses more on frontline social work practice and uses data analysis to identify emerging problems.

Learning from Troubled Families

How can commissioners use the Troubled Families programme to lead local transformation, asks Richard Selwyn.

Special Report: Early Help

Council early help services are changing. With budgets falling and demand for intensive services rising, early help is evolving into a more multi-agency intervention targeted at the most disadvantaged families.

Legal Update: How to tackle repeat removals

Kamena Dorling, head of policy and programmes at Coram Children's Legal Centre, explores the need to address the problems of parents who lose successive children in repeat care proceedings.

Early help's new protagonist: Jo Casebourne, chief executive, the Early Intervention Foundation

Derren Hayes speaks to Jo Casebourne, chief executive, the Early Intervention Foundation.

Your guide to the Children and Social Work Act

What the act means for everyday practice across the children's workforce.

Special Report: Social Work With Children and Families

Social workers are among the most important people in the lives of vulnerable children, so a number of initiatives are aimed at re-energising a profession dogged by high caseloads and recruitment difficulties.

Parental conflict: the impact for children and how to resolve it

Academic whose research underpins new government drive to resolve parental conflict explains how policy can help councils develop support programmes that mitigate the damage it causes to children's wellbeing.

The policy context on preventing care proceedings

In the face of tightening council budgets and rising demand for children's social care services, policymakers and local leaders have for the past few years been devising ways to reduce children's services' use of care proceedings.

What kind of family support can avert looming care system crisis?

Record rise in number of care applications has prompted England's most senior family court judge to warn of a looming "crisis". He says efforts must focus on intensive support for struggling families to prevent care proceedings.

Good Practice

How young mothers overcome threat of homelessness

Charity M3 Project supports teenage mothers and pregnant young women with the assistance they need to overcome homelessness or the threat of homelessness.

Child development early warning system, Andalucía, Spain

Geographically, Andalucía is a mix of popular coastal resort cities and rural villages in the mountainous interior located in the southern region of Spain.

Help volunteers support families

Volunteer mentor programmes for those on child protection or child in need plans can help local authorities to prevent statutory intervention and be the bridge to the wider community families need.

Measuring the quality of care

In the last in a series of articles, the NSPCC explains how it developed an evidence-based approach to assessing the quality of care a child receives and identifying when deficient parenting is placing them at risk.

Commissioning: Infants in care proceedings

Toni Badnall-Neill explains how commissioning can support better outcomes for very young children taken into care.

Strength-based social work, Australia

Like the UK, Australia has seen rising demand for child protection and care services over the past five years. In response, the latest iteration of the federal government's 10-year child protection strategy focuses on early intervention to keep children and young people out of state care.

Seven features of practice

Projects in the first phase of the Children's Social Care Innovation Programme have been evaluated to identify practice that has the most impact for children, with seven clear features emerging.

How programme ends cycle of family violence

Professionals intervene to help repair and improve family relationships when young people have perpetrated abuse against their parents.

Leadership: Scaling up interventions

Once the value of an innovative intervention for children and families has been recognised, the next step is to effectively implement and replicate it on a scale that can benefit even more people.

Sandwell Family Partners

Practitioners identify issues vulnerable families may face and work collaboratively to resolve them.

Shine, Hudson Children's Centre

Children's centre develops 10-week programme for new mums with poor mental health or emotional wellbeing.

School-Home Support

Practitioners work with families to address the root causes of poor school attendance and behaviour.

Juvenile Firesetters Intervention Scheme

Targeted, individually-tailored one-to-one programme aims to stop under-18s playing with fire or firesetting.

International Focus: SOS Children's Villages, Finland

Finland has a population of 5.5 million. Despite being a relatively wealthy country - its per capita output is equivalent to France - it has an unemployment rate of nearly 10 per cent and youth unemployment is double that level. Nearly one million Finns earn too little to cover their costs of living, with one in 10 children having welfare needs.

How intervention helps families to turn a corner

Targeted intervention programme helps families to change their lives and improve outcomes for children with child in need plans.

Local Spotlight: Brighton & Hove Council

Brighton's seafront and night-time economy are attractions for young people, but also present risks of substance misuse.

How children at risk get multi-agency support

Social care and housing staff join forces to offer support and accommodation to young people at risk of being homeless or entering care.

Brighter Futures, Ealing Council

Pilot aimed to prevent placement and family breakdown among older children in and on the edge of care by developing social workers' skills to build trusting, consistent relationships with them.

Leeds City Council

Restorative practice crucial to Leeds children's services' journey from Ofsted "inadequate" to best practice status.

Cafcass Plus

Programme that introduces a family court adviser into the pre-proceedings process to divert cases from entering proceedings, and speed up the process for those who do end up in court.

Early FDAC (Families Do Achieve Change)

Pre-proceedings version of the Family Drug and Alcohol Court, a problem-solving form of care proceedings for the children of substance-misusing parents.

The Team Around the Relationship, Brighton & Hove

Brighton & Hove City Council's relationship-based practice model of children's social work.

Action for Children - Multisystemic therapy, Manchester

Intensive, home-based programme supporting young people on the edge of care, and their families.

How parents take action to end cycle of care

Programme of support for parents that have had children taken into care helps reduce the chance of further pregnancies and proceedings.

Legal Update: FDAC works to keep families united

Kamena Dorling, head of policy and programmes at Coram Children's Legal Centre, looks at the role of the Family, Drug and Alcohol Court in keeping children with their families and cost-savings its work can bring.



Engaging on the 'Front Line': Exploring How Family Support Teams Construct Meaning in Their Work With Young Mothers

This paper explores the provision of family support services for young mothers within a Sure Start children's centre.

Helping Birmingham Families Early: The 'Signs of Safety and Wellbeing' Practice Framework

The authors discuss the Signs of Safety and Wellbeing framework that has been introduced into Birmingham's early help services. This paper discusses the theoretical basis of Signs of Safety and how and why it is being used in Birmingham.

The Effectiveness of the Incredible Years Pre-school Parenting Programme in the United Kingdom: a Pragmatic Randomised Trial

The authors discuss the findings of an evaluation of the Incredible Years (IY) programme delivered to parents of three and four year olds attending universal early years provision at risk of developing a conduct disorder.

Referrals and Child Protection in England: One in Five Children Referred to Children's Services and One in Nineteen Investigated before the Age of Five

This quantitative study focuses on the high proportion of children referred to children's services and the increasing use of statutory interventions.

Analysing Repeated Referrals to Children's Services in England

This study set out to discover the factors behind children receiving multiple referrals to local authority children's services. The analysis focused on 498,867 children referred during the financial year 2010/11.

Exploring Communication Between Social Workers, Children and Young People

This paper discusses findings from the ethnographic phase of The Talking and Listening to Children (TLC) project, which took place between 2013 and 2015 and explored how social workers communicate with children.

Special Report: Preventing care proceedings - Research evidence

The research section for this special report is based on a selection of academic studies which have been explored and summarised by Research in Practice (www.rip.org.uk), part of the Dartington Hall Trust.