A key part to make sure that needs are identified early, and that services are integrated and tailored to the child, young person or family in need of early help will be our pilot Early Help Multi Agency Panel. It will look to mobilise resources swiftly across the partnership, helping to build capacity in families to be resilient and manage their own difficulties and reduce the need for statutory agencies to become involved.
It will provide a regular forum for professionals to meet and in which:
- whole system information can be shared to make decisions
- families can access the resources they need rapidly
- agencies collaborate to ensure children, young people and their families receive the right help, for the whole family, first time
- lead professionals are agreed to drive joined up assessments, plan and interventions for children, young people and their families
- the need for children, young people and their families to have to tell ‘their story’ more than once is reduced
- support plans can be reviewed support when needs and/or risks change to minimise the risk of children, young people and their families being referred to specialist or statutory services.
The panel itself does not change how you - as professionals - access services for children, young people and families. This will still continue to be via the Multi Agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH). The panel will also not change the types of services that are available to them, but will provide information by which to review whether there are any gaps or duplication in provision.
The panel itself will meet weekly, with a core membership and additional members who will join to discuss particular cases - Terms of Reference.
The panel will be evaluated at the end of February 2018, to check whether it has a positive impact for children, young people and their families; and whether it has made it simpler to engage the partnership to develop swift multi agency responses to families in need.