Barnsley Council has taken a different approach to providing
support for families who are experiencing crisis or vulnerability
by co-ordinating multiple support agencies into a single team for
Barnsley Council has developed a new way to support those
families who require extra support during times of crisis or
vulnerability. Strong Families, Strong Barnsley brings together
multiple support agencies under the one team - a 'one-stop shop'
approach - with the idea that having a single team working with
each family rather than multiple people and teams. The aim of this
is to ensure that the families involved don't 'drop' through gaps
in the system and receive the care and support they need from the
right services at the right time.
Arranged around four areas of the region, each team of
practitioners includes a manager, social workers, family support
workers, a health visitor, school nurse, a multi-agency
co-ordinator and business support. Based within Berneslai Homes,
responsible for managing homes on behalf of Barnsley metropolitan
borough council, they are managed by a multi-agency leaders group,
a stronger families team and a family panel.
Strong Families, Strong Barnsley works on a whole-family/person
approach with the team working to identify priorities for the whole
family not just one or two members. These might be anything from
domestic violence and substance misuse to anti-social behaviour,
housing issues or worklessness.
This programme is also proving to be a successful way of working
to support families in crisis turn their lives around and begin to
live the life they want to live. The programme currently has 300
families engaged and has "turned around" 87. This usually consists
of getting children back into school (more than 85% attendance is
the recommendation), reducing crime and antisocial behaviour and
seeing adults make progress towards finding work.
Other programmes and projects are also starting to focus on this
'whole family/whole person approach in light of the government
pledge under the Troubled Families programme to work with
local authorities to help 120,000 families in England turn their
lives around by 2015.
In Control is working with various agencies towards this aim,
focusing on early intervention for young people who are in crisis
or are vulnerable as a key part of supporting troubled families
build better lives.
For example, recent work with The Mayday Trust and Blackburn
Good Neighbours aims support young people to become active members
of their community by addressing their issues through work to
encourage them to identify their strengths, aspirations,
significant networks and local resources and put together a plan
that will aim to build their assets and give them an opportunity to
integrate positively within their local community.
This project combines this 'Developmental Assets' approach from
the US with personal budgets - being the first of its type to do so
- so that not only do young people gain a plan of activity that
helps them feel like a valuable member of their community but,
where needed, also enables them to have a personal budget to
support them to realise their potential.
In Control is also working on other projects that look at early
intervention such as:
- Worcestershire Improving Futures:
Person-centred planning, support from a local person, backed up
with a possible personal budget to support children at risk
- Middlesbrough: Supporting children and young
people at risk of being taken into the care of the local authority,
or being in care
There is also a proposed round table discussion in the pipeline
to explore how we can personalise the approach to early
intervention and better support people at times of crisis or
To read more about Strong Families, Strong Barnsley visit: https://www.barnsley.gov.uk/services/childrens-health-wellbeing-and-social-care/information-for-practitioners/integrated-working-in-childrens-services/working-together-in-localities
To read more about BU Be Amazing visit: /news/in-control-news/new-programme-%E2%80%98bu-be-amazing%E2%80%99-launched-for-young-people.aspx