Achieving for Children

Early help and intervention

We believe passionately in taking a preventative approach to working with children, young people and their families. Our approach to early help services has helped to transform services in Kingston. Since we took over delivery of services in April 2014, Kingston became one of the first areas in the country to jump from ‘inadequate’ to ‘good’ in one Ofsted inspection.

Our early help strategy and approach has been at the heart of this transformation.

Ofsted highlighted that:

“Achieving for Children delivers a wide range of well coordinated early help services, which are improving outcomes for children and families. The single point of access (SPA) and the multi-agency safeguarding hub (MASH) provide a timely and effective response to contacts and referrals.”

In Kingston and Richmond, our early help offer has ensured that:

  • parents and our partner agencies know what services are available and
  • how to access them;
  • children and young people receive the right support at the right time;
  • and as their circumstances change, the step up and step down process happens efficiently and without children falling through cracks in the system.

In the last year, our early help model has helped us to release almost £3m in savings across children’s services in Kingston and Richmond, and reduced demand on expensive specialist social care services.

Building on the excellent work we’ve undertaken in these two boroughs, we have developed a package of support to help other local authorities to rethink their approach to early help services, to reduce cost while improving outcomes for children and young people.

Our approach

Our approach is tailored to the requirements of each authority; however, our support can range from small bespoke pieces of work to a comprehensive service redesign package.

Some of the services we can offer are:

  • support to develop an early help strategy
  • needs analysis to help you understand better the need in your area
  • demand analysis and process redesign to ensure you better meet demand while avoiding bottlenecks in referral and assessment teams
  • skills audits to ensure you have the right mix of skills within your teams to meet the needs of children and families in your area
  • training to upskill staff to ensure that decision making and the application of thresholds are consistent and appropriate
  • support to develop a locality model
  • recruitment support to ensure that any skills gaps are addressed
  • mapping of early help services across all service providers locally
  • support to design your commissioning strategy to ensure that services commissioned from the private and voluntary sector align with your preventative strategy
  • guidance on bringing together and consolidating a coherent early help offer
  • support to design and implement effective front door and MASH arrangements using tried and tested delivery models
  • leading business process reviews and service redesign, providing the capacity and expertise to ensure that complex change is implemented effectively.

Find out more

If you are as passionate about early help services as we are and are interested in working with us to rethink your approach, we’d like to hear from you. To get in touch, contact us at enquiries@achievingforchildren.org.uk

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