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Self-directed support and early intervention

On May 13 2014, In Control hosted a roundtable event to explore personalising the approach to early intervention and better supporting people at times of crisis or vulnerability.

The focused session looked at how the principles of self-directed support can underpin approaches to early intervention, recovery and independence.

The following people attended the session which was conducted under Chatham House Rules.

  • Jenny Dalby and Tim Keilty, Middlesbrough
  • Rachel Salter and Nick Parker, Worcestershire
  • Pat McCardle, Mayday Trust
  • Lynne Romeo, chief social worker, Department of Health
  • Trudi Reynolds and Chris Easton, NHS England
  • Sarah Caton, ADCS
  • Alan Rosenbach, CQC
  • Clare Gent, Action for Children
  • Clive Miller, OPM
  • Dawn Rees, independent expert
  • Alison Burton, Public Health England
  • Julie Stansfield, CEO In Control
  • Martin Routledge, head of operations, In Control
  • Nic Crosby, Children's programme lead, In Control


There are many different initiatives and programmes currently running across England that focus on early intervention, alternatives to long-term placements, 'troubled families', school exclusions and supporting people of all ages at times of crisis. However changing thresholds and eligibility criteria mean that many of these people are now not entitled to support.

In Control has long advocated for more personalised approaches to empowering people to take control of their lives using tactics such as person-centred planning, creative use of funding and ensuring the child/young person/family's voice is heard. We are currently carrying out very interesting work with a number of people and organisations to take these approaches forward and to explore how personalisation can work for a much greater number of people outside of the traditional support and care model.

Examples of this work were presented to those participating in the roundtable, and this included:

  • 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.
  • Mayday Trust (East Midlands): Support to young people at a time of crisis, homelessness or exclusion from learning through personal mentors, person-centred planning and access to a small personal budget.

The roundtable involved a lively discussion focusing on finding out more about this work, exploring the challenges of applying self-directed support to different situations and how to take this work forward.

A brief summary of the roundtable discussion can be viewed here and you can also find out more about the three pieces of work highlighted above in our new paper: Self-directed support and early intervention.

2016 update: This forms an important part of the developing work which is now going forward under 'Me My Family My Home'. Find out more about 'Me My Family My Home' here.

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Last Updated : 14 June 2016. Page Author: philippa.barker.