City and County of Swansea Child and Family Services Strategic

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City and County of Swansea Child and Family Services Strategic Delivery Plan 2009/2010

FOREWORD All members of the council for the City and County of Swansea, irrespective of their political party, recognise that children are our future and are the next generation who will help ensure the success and prosperity of the city. Our shared vision for children and young people is to create an environment that raises their hopes, aspirations and achievement promoting pride through citizenship. We want our children to grow up healthy, safe from harm, free from poverty and supported to achieve their full potential enabling them to become active citizens of Swansea to achieve this. All Departments across the Council must work together if this vision is to become a reality. Through its key role in partnerships the local authority must provide the necessary leadership to drive forward the agenda for children and young people. Some children and young people living in the City and County, because of their individual needs or family circumstances, will require considerable support to achieve their potential. Meeting the needs of these children and young people cannot be achieved by any single agency. Child and Family Services play a vital role in safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children and young people who are vulnerable, enabling them to enjoy the happy, healthy and productive childhood we believe is the right of every child. This Children and Families Service Plan is ambitious, because we believe in the pursuit of excellence in all our services. These services must be child-centred. This means that all services are fitted around children, young people, and families according to their needs, rather than expecting them to fit in with us. To achieve this, children, young people and families must be treated as active partners - listening to them, hearing and respecting their views. It is essential that children’s services form part of a coordinated approach to understanding and meeting the needs of children, young people and their families. It is important that all departments and agencies work 2

with each other, both inside and outside the Council, to encourage trust and confidence with colleagues and partners, so that more of the issues involving young people and families are owned and solved jointly. Complex problems require joined-up solutions. Underpinning this service plan is a desire to see children living in stable, loving and caring environments whether this be with their family, or in a fostering or care setting. This is the key to a child’s successful development and to their capacity to be happy, healthy and confident children who grow into responsible and caring adults. It is our intent to nurture and support children through their childhood and adolescence, identifying early any difficulties they or their families might be experiencing, and then moving quickly to support and assist them. Our aim is a high but vital one: that the life chances of children, young people and their families are improved and that they are protected from harm and fear of harm. Central to all we do is the need to develop selfconfidence and resilience amongst children and young people and the need to develop a collective sense of responsibility within communities for vulnerable children and those in greatest need.

Signature of Cabinet Member

Cllr Nick Tregoning

Signature of Corporate Director (Social Services)

……………………………………….Chris Maggs


INTRODUCTION This plan sets out the strategy for the development and improvement of Child and Family Services. It builds on and replaces the interim plan, ‘A Strategy for Taking Children’s Services Forward’, November 2008. A number of strands and processes have contributed to the development of this Plan. The Plan clearly located within a framework of national and local policies, priorities and plans (Diagram 1) it does not replicate the detail of any of these plans but has been informed by them. The interim plan, ‘A Strategy for Taking Children’s Services Forward’, has been reviewed. Work still being taken forward through Task and Finish Groups, have been incorporated into this Plan. It has also been informed by the findings of the CSSIW Inspection of Child and Family Services carried out in December 2008 and the Safeguarding Audits of Child and Family Services and Swansea Safeguarding Children’s Board. Finally, the plan has been informed by the results of consultation with staff across Child and Family Services. The Plan sets out our vision for children and young people and the role that Child and Family Services will play in supporting children and young people in Swansea to achieve this vision. Although it is a Plan for Child and Family Services it cannot be delivered without corporate support It is intended that this plan will be used widely to inform planning arrangements by leaders of the Local Authority, managers and staff. It provides a framework which will enable the Child and Family Senior Management Team to learn from the outcomes of agreed actions, moving forward with confidence, monitoring and evaluating progress regularly.


PLAN STRUCTURE The plan’s structure is influenced by a number of factors that must be acknowledged as they could impact on the successful implementation and outcome of this plan. There must be a balance between how our longer term goals and immediate priorities are achieved. ⎯ Our vision for children and young people This establishes the overall aim and core purpose for Child and Family Services ⎯ Our vision for Services This sets out the strategic vision for Child and Family Services which underpins the plan ⎯ The Context Outlines the current context within which Child and Family Services operate ⎯ Our Priorities This section of the Plan identifies the priorities for development. ⎯ Detailed Action Plan 2009/2010 This sets out the actions that will be taken in 2009/2010 to take Child and Family Services forward. ⎯ Delivering and monitoring the plan Details the arrangements for communicating, delivering and monitoring the plan 5

OUR VISION FOR CHILDREN AND YOUNG PEOPLE We aim to ensure that children and young people who may be disadvantaged by their needs or circumstances are supported to enjoy a happy, healthy and productive childhood and have the opportunities they need to reach their potential. OUR VISION FOR SERVICES Our main responsibilities are to protect and safeguard the welfare of children in need. This means any child or young person whose health and welfare may suffer if they do not receive our help. This includes: children and young people who may be at risk of harm or neglect or who may have been harmed; children and young people ‘looked after’; disabled children. We will do this by: • Ensuring that staff are valued and are supported to deliver their best practice by providing effective evidenced based services to improve outcomes for: ⎯ ⎯ ⎯ • Children in need, including disabled children; Children in need of protection and; Looked after children.

Ensuring we have robust systems in place to monitor what we do and which demonstrate that we provide high quality, effective services to children and families;


• • •

Ensuring that we are an effective member of local partnerships and that Child and Family Services plays a lead role in driving the strategic agenda for children and young people in Swansea; Working closely with other agencies to co-ordinate the delivery of services at a strategic and individual level; Ensuring that Child and Family Services are innovative, creative and inclusive.


THE CONTEXT The Plan is located within a framework of national and local policies, priorities and plans (Diagram 1). This includes the Swansea Children and Young People’s Plan, the Local Improvement Plan, the Health Social Care and Well-Being Strategy and the Community Safety Plan. All of these strategies have the ability to impact on the Council’s ambition to provide a coordinated response to delivering services to children and families. It is therefore essential that these strategies outline their specific contribution toward the successful implementation of the Childrens Services Plan The Child and Family Services Strategic Delivery Plan does not replicate the detail of any of these plans but makes a conscious effort to identify areas where cross boundary partnership working adds real value to the ambition of raising standards and producing a range of integrated child orientated services. It is intended that this plan will be used widely to inform planning arrangements by leaders of the Local Authority, managers and staff ensuring a corporate and joint up approach to children and young people who need additional support to reach their potential.



Diagram 1







SOCIAL SERVICES PLAN (Performance Evaluation)



Swansea has a population of 228,086 (2007), the third highest in Wales and is four times more densely populated than Wales as a whole. During 1993-2003 the population of Swansea fell by 2%, compared to the all Wales population which rose by 2%. Swansea is slightly above the Wales average in the 2005 Multiple Deprivation Index (by considering the 20% of authorities which are most deprived). Using the health status rankings from 2005/2007), 30% of the 9

population reports having a long-term illness which is slightly higher than the Welsh average of 27%. Swansea’s population is below the Welsh average for meeting physical activity guidelines, with 26% meeting the guidelines compared to 29% across Wales. In 2008/2009 Child and Family Services received 4,273 referrals and provided services to 1,947 children, young people and their families. On the 1 April 2009 Child and Families had 1,725 open referrals and cases. An analysis of all cases currently open to Child and Family Services, where a core assessment had been undertaken, reveals the complexity of the needs and circumstances of the children and young people receiving a service. Issues of domestic violence, parent/carer mental ill health and parent/carer drug and alcohol misuse are present in over a quarter of all cases. A further, more detailed, analysis by type of case shows that the prevalence of these factors increases in cases where a child requires a multi-agency child protection plan to safeguard their welfare and still further where children and young people are looked after.


ENSURING THAT STAFF ARE VALUED AND ARE SUPPORTED TO DELIVER THEIR BEST; Where we want to get to: • All staff in Children and Family Services: o feel valued; o have clear leadership which provides them with a sense of direction and purpose; o Receive the training, supervision and support they need to develop their skills and expertise and to deliver a high quality service; o Have ownership of the Service; o Take pride in their work; o Experience Swansea Child and Family Services as a good place to work; All ‘Back office’ systems are directed at supporting individuals and teams to deliver good outcome for children and young people; • Our priorities for 2009/2010 To provide clear and effective leadership for Child and Family Services at political, corporate and service levels; Support staff through the process of change; Retain current staffing level and low vacancy rates; Maintain and develop the skills of our workforce; Support Team Managers to drive practice improvements; Review administrative support and structures to ensure that they are directed effectively to support practice; Continue to implement and enhance our ICS solution;

• • • • •




PROVIDING EFFECTIVE EVIDENCED BASED SERVICES TO IMPROVE OUTCOMES FOR CHILDREN IN NEED, INCLUDING DISABLED CHILDREN; Where we want to get to: • There is a framework of preventative services providing early intervention for children and young people and their families, supporting prompt referrals, based on the CAF, for those children assistance • • • All children in need receive a timely, high quality, holistic assessment of their needs There is a clear plan with measurable child focused outcomes for all children in need Our Family Support Services, including shortbreak care are targeted on children who need them most • • • • • and young people requiring our • • • Our priorities for 2009/2010 Review our Family Support Services; Improve the interface between Child and Family Services and other support services for children provided in the community; Develop opportunities for joint planning and, commissioning of services for children in need; Review the restructuring of the Assessment and Care Management Service; Bring all Assessment and Care Management teams together in one location Review our services for Disabled Children; Establish a clear process for planning and review of cases where services are provided to children in need; Develop a team for Asylum Seeking young people; 12

PROVIDING EFFECTIVE EVIDENCED BASED SERVICES TO IMPROVE OUTCOMES FOR CHILDREN IN NEED OF PROTECTION; Where we want to get to: • There is a strong, well functioning Swansea Safeguarding • Children Board coordinating • • arrangements for safeguarding children; Child and Family Services work effectively with other agencies to identify children in need of protection and ensure that processes for • strategy discussions, Section 47 enquiries, child protection conferencing are well established and effective; • • All children in need of protection are identified; All children on the register are allocated, have a clear child focused multi-agency plan based on a timely, holistic assessment of their needs. • • Our priorities for 2009/2010 Child and Family Services will continue to provide clear leadership to take forward the development of the SSCB; Improve practice in relation to child protection; Develop a multi-agency protocol to safeguard and promote the welfare of children who place themselves at risk; Strengthen the monitoring of quality through the development of the Service Quality Unit and Quality Framework We will continue to improve our performance against statutory targets for children in need


PROVIDING EFFECTIVE EVIDENCED BASED SERVICES TO IMPROVE OUTCOMES FOR LOOKED AFTER CHILDREN AND YOUNG PEOPLE; Where we want to get to: • All looked after children and young people are: • • • • • supported to reach their potential; achieve permanency at the earliest possible point in a stable placement suitable to their needs; have an allocated worker; have an up to date care plan directed to securing their future, based on a clear holistic assessment of their needs; • • Are listened to and have a say in the services they receive; have a choice of placement on becoming looked after; We have robust and effective systems to monitor the services we provide and outcomes for looked after children • • • • • • • • Our priorities for 2009/2010 Permanency and placement strategy for looked after children will be developed and implemented; We will strengthen care planning; Work with partners to develop a range of interventions where there is a high risk of a child/young person becoming looked after; Develop a range of interventions focussed on children when they enter the care system; Strengthen Family Placement and Adoption Services; Develop Contact Service ; Establish Corporate Parenting Forum Performance against statutory targets for care planning, reviews and statutory visits will be improved. 14

ENSURING WE HAVE ROBUST SYSTEMS IN PLACE TO MONITOR WHAT WE DO AND WHICH DEMONSTRATE THAT WE PROVIDE HIGH QUALITY, EFFECTIVE SERVICES TO CHILDREN AND FAMILIES; Where we want to get to: • • Performance and quality assurance is owned by everyone in Child and Family Services; • • We have robust systems in place that demonstrate the effectiveness of our services; We will have a performance and quality • assurance framework that includes qualitative and quantitative measures; • Management information will be available to inform strategic planning, service development and commissioning; • Performance information, including information on budgets, will be available in ‘real-time’ to Teams Managers and practitioners; • The views of service users is integral to service evaluation and development • • • • • •

Our priorities for 2009/2010 Service Quality Unit established; Quality assurance framework developed and rolled out across Child and Family Services; Systems strengthened to ensure that the information gathered is accurate, timely, has a clear purpose and is available at all levels; Administrative reconfigured level; All services we commission are underpinned by a service level agreement, which have child focused outcomes; New Budget structures and monitoring 15 arrangements will be rolled out across the Service; We will explore the introduction of workflow in PARIS to support ensure it reviewed supports and the

gathering of key performance data at team

ENSURING THAT WE ARE AN EFFECTIVE MEMBER OF LOCAL PARTNERSHIPS AND THAT CHILD AND FAMILY SERVICES PLAYS A LEAD ROLE IN DRIVING THE STRATEGIC AGENDA FOR CHILDREN AND YOUNG PEOPLE IN SWANSEA; Where we want to get to: • • Children and Family Services is an active and valued member of key partnerships; Child and Family Services is part of an integrated network of planning and services for children and young people in Swansea; • Child and Family Services are able to provide partners with information that assists them in developing their strategies and plans; • There are clear and links across and between the plan for Child and Family Services, • • corporate plans and those of other partnerships • • Our priorities for 2009/2010 We will play an active role in all key partnerships. In particular: • We will continue to lead the development of the Swansea Safeguarding Board with a focus on implementing new governance structures and support arrangements; Contribute to the review of the Children and Young People’s Plan; Use the Child in Need Planning group to coordinate planning for vulnerable children; Work with colleagues in the voluntary sector on developments within Child and Family Services; Play an active role in the SMAT partnership;


WORKING CLOSELY WITH OTHER AGENCIES TO CO-ORDINATE THE DELIVERY OF SERVICES AT A STRATEGIC AND INDIVIDUAL LEVEL; Where we want to get to: • • The role of Children and Family Services, within a coordinated is framework and of multi-agency by all • services, partners; • • A Common Assessment is used by all partners as the basis of assessment and service delivery; There are well establish protocols for sharing information so children, young people and their families do not have to tell their story several times • • • Children, young people and their family receive a holistic assessment; Services are arranged around the needs of individual children and young people; There is a strong framework for planning and coordinating the development of integrated services 17 • • • clear understood • Our priorities for 2009/2010 We will be an active member of the Children and Young People’s Partnership; Support the roll out of the Common Assessment and advocate for the development of an eCAF; Work with key partners to develop and extend current joint working arrangements; Support the development of the Team around the Child approach; Develop working more focused and with effective key joint arrangements partners

including CAMHS, Health, Education SMAT, and Adult Services

ENSURING THAT CHILD AND FAMILY SERVICES ARE INNOVATIVE, CREATIVE AND INCLUSIVE? Where we want to get to: • Children and Family Services develops services that respond to local need and deliver good quality outcomes for children and young • people, drawing on evidence from research and best practice; • • • • There are opportunities for staff at all levels to contribute to service development Swansea is an active participant in research and pilots new approaches; Swansea has a reputation as a learning • • organisation. Children and young people are provided with the opportunity to contribute to service development 18 • • This Our priorities for 2009/2010 plan has of been staff developed from from the the

suggestions organisation;


Staff will continue to contribute to the review and development of services via involvement in task and finish groups, team planning events, staff workshops; We will take an innovative approach to supporting and developing the skills of staff. Include the views of children, young people and their families in the development of services Include the views of Partner Agencies in service development and delivery

Implementation/Change Management Implementing this plan must take into account the management of change and will need to be introduced through a number of stages that allows operational arrangements to be sustained without risk and new models of practice to be introduced. The following extract from Achieving Change in Child and Family Services describes our intention to move forward in a planned co-ordinated way; Change is not a simple, linear process and sustained improvement is very difficult to achieve. Incremental change at this point is not sufficient to meet the CSSIW requirements for improvement. Such change can only be achieved via transformational change, using the principles and methods outlined in the 2001 Audit Commission Report ‘Change Here! Managing Change to Improve Local Services’. Transformational change is required where: ‘Challenging conditions call for a much better performance in an environment of continuing uncertainty1’. It requires strong leadership, setting out a clear vision for improvement and investing in effective ways to communicate with staff at all levels. It is initiated and led from the top but detailed changes in working practices emerge through a process that engages and involves many people throughout the organisation2. One or more targeted areas may be selected first so that change is not overwhelming. Change must be rigorously prioritized and implemented so that the organisation can focus scarce resources on the things that are needed to deliver service improvements. This prioritised change can then act as a platform for more long term change. ‘Delivering tangible change on the ground goes well beyond policy making. Nor is it primarily about structural reorganisation, which can be simultaneously energy-sapping and irrelevant to the primary task of improving services’3

Change Here! Managing Change to Improve Local Services, Audit Commission, 2001. 2 Transforming the Organisation: New approaches to management, measurement and leadership, Ruddle and Feeny, 1997 3 Change Here! Managing Change to Improve Local Services, Audit Commission, 2001.


The complete document is available from the Projects Officer (Performance and Innovation Unit)


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