Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council
your common processes newsletter SUMMER 2008
Information Lucy Pye and Martin Eaves with
children Declan and Mary sit with
sharing training Dinah Wilson, deputy head of
Hancock Street children’s centre,
at a computer checking details
The Council will be offering a range
of courses about good practice in
The children’s services workforce
development team is offering the
courses to help those who work with
children to understand and meet the
requirements for good practice.
They are open to practitioners
from all agencies and are designed to
support integrated working under the
Every Child Matters framework.
The four courses that are available at
the moment are:
` Introduction to information sharing
` Information sharing in practice
` Handling confidential information
` ECM 100, Every Child Matters (an
accredited training programme)
For further information, and to
‘ContactPoint will help them
book a place on any of these courses
contact: Nicola Raynor in the workforce
development team on (01254) 666560,
deliver a better service’
Teachers believe ContactPoint will help them Teachers and social workers in Blackburn the Council’s children’s social care and
deliver a better service with Darwen believe ContactPoint will help referral and assessment team.
them to deliver a better service. Most respondents said ContactPoint
The Common Processes Team sent would help them to get a broader picture of
surveys to all of Blackburn with Darwen’s a child’s needs so they can deliver a better
head teachers and deputy heads and also service.
It also found: ` 66% of the teachers and 46% of the
` 91% of teachers and 100% social social workers said that ContactPoint
workers who responded said will enable them to deliver services
ContactPoint would save them time earlier than they would have been
when trying to find the contact able to do otherwise
details of other professionals ` 67% of the teachers and 64% of
` More than three quarters of the social workers thought that
respondents said that ContactPoint ContactPoint will help them to
will help them to identify a child’s ensure that the children they work
needs earlier than they could have with get all the services they are
done without it entitled to
CAF in practice: The role of the CAF
A social worker’s tale area co-ordinators
Julie Kennedy, a CAF area co-ordinator and a family
Wendy Brace is a social worker support team leader at Seven Trees, children’s centre,
discusses her role.
supporting Common Assessment There are ten CAF area co-ordinators in early
Framework implementation. years. The co-ordinators hold the position of children
centre family support team leaders and are based at
Here she talks about how she used CAF to support two
children, aged 12 and 15.
The co-ordinators have a vast array of knowledge
The case was first brought to our attention
and experience in family support and the CAF
because concerns were raised about the 12-year-old’s
process. They are able to share this knowledge
behaviour at school. The mother had also contacted
with professionals for the benefit of all children and
social care asking for help. We felt a CAF was more
families in Blackburn with Darwen.
The CAF area co-ordinators are available to
We visited the mother and explained the CAF process
support professionals complete a CAF. They can also
to her. We also explained the process to the 12-year-
support professionals to set up Team Around the
Child meetings (TAC) and the processes involved.
He agreed to the CAF process. The mother and
In my role as a CAF co-ordinator, I have supported
the child took an active role in completing the CAF
professionals from schools, midwifes and health
assessment and drawing up an action plan.
visitors to complete the CAF.
Concerns were also raised about his sister,
I am available to provide support over the phone
15, during this process. She had been absent
or I can visit settings. I believe this approach has
from school during her GCSE year and it was
benefited a range of partner professionals while
feared that these absences were having an effect
demonstrating to parents support is provided through
on her future prospects.
a multi-agency co-ordinated approach.
The CAF system was explained to her and she
Julie can be contacted on (01254) 264922 or
agreed to take part in an assessment.
The correct services have now been identified
for the two young people. Family support has Early years has 10 CAF area co-ordinators
also been put in place. Both young people have
remained in control of their plans and both have
made changes and are maintaining them.
The CAF has helped school staff to
understand and meet the young people’s
Common Assessment Framework Process -
From concern identified to case closed
CAF Concern Register CAF/ check if one exists @
Basic Process Identified www.blackburn.gov.uk/caf
Agree action plan Undertake Issued with a
Give copy to
and set review date assessment CAF number
Send copy to CAF Co-ordinator: Arrange and review action
Children’s Services, floor 3, The Exchange, plan at TAC meetings, Case Closed
Ainsworth Street, Blackburn, BB1 6AD until needs met
2 In Common SUMMER
your common processes newsletter
An insight into primary care trust’s role in CAF
Dawn Walmsley, safeguarding and CAF co-ordinator at Blackburn
with Darwen teaching Primary Care Trust, describes how her
news in brief
organisation works with children’s services and other partners ContactPoint
to improve the outcomes for children and young people. implementation
The Common Assessment Framework timetable changed
has been introduced across the borough and
Changes to the ContactPoint timetable
the PCT has been a part of the process.
and this year’s funding have been
However, as I am sure many of you announced.
know, actually doing the training and putting
Kevin Brennan, parliamentary
it into practice can be an entirely different
undersecretary of state for children,
young people and families, told directors
One of my roles in the PCT is to make sure of children’s services the deployment
both the CAF and the Lead Professional (LP) of ContactPoint to early adopters,
role at practitioner level are implemented. including Blackburn with Darwen, would
Part of my role involves training both for begin in autumn 2008.
the PCT and our health partners in East
He said the government department
Lancashire Hospital Trust.
decided it needed more time to
I am also the contact for health address the changes to ContactPoint
professionals when they have any queries system users said were needed. The
or wish to discuss anything arising from the fundamental design has not been
CAF process or the lead professional role. changed but the alterations will make
I support health professionals with Team sure the system works more effectively
Around the Child (TAC) meetings. for users. They also make it more
The CAF and the processes around it are straightforward for local authority
just a part of my role. I am also the PCT ContactPoint teams to manage user
lead for ContactPoint and I am a member access. There will be no compromises
of the Common Processes steering group. on security.
Safeguarding, as we are all hopefully aware, Dawn Walmsley Mr Brennan also reiterated the
is not just about child protection anymore and meeting all the issues were assessed and system is a key element of the Every
part of my role is to supervise staff with CAF actions planned in such a short time the Child Matters programme to transform
queries and also child protection concerns health visitor involved had nothing but praise children’s services by supporting
as part of the PCT supervision process. for the process. We call the health visitor in more effective prevention and early
I believe, certainly in health, we have the case the PCT “queen of CAFs” such is intervention and its goal of improving
just touched the tip of the iceberg with our her commitment now to the process. I hope outcomes and the experience of public
involvement with families using the CAF her enthusiasm will be echoed across the services for all children, young people
process. We still have some way to go. There whole organisation in time. She is also an and families.
is a number of staff who have initiated and advocate of having TACs in the home (where
led the CAF/LP process and they have been possible) as she felt one of the major issues
very positive about how it has improved for the family mentioned above could never ContactPoint
outcomes for not just the children/young
people but the families they have been
have been resolved as quickly if the meeting
was held elsewhere.
involved with as well. This is a very brief overview of my role ContactPoint security has undergone
One example involved a co-ordinated input and health’s involvement to the CAF process. a review following the loss of personal
between early years health service, family If anyone would like any further information, data at HM Revenue and Customs.
support, early years education and housing. please feel free to contact me on dawn. The system’s security has been
Problems affecting the whole family had been email@example.com or at Larkhill audited and approved at all stages by
ongoing for some time but after just one TAC Health Centre on (01254) 263611. relevant bodies but the review makes
sure there is the highest level of
security for its build, implementation
CAF likely to feature in inspection and operation.
Ed Balls, secretary of state for
Common Assessment Framework is It is also important services identified children, schools and families, also
likely to feature in the Joint Area Review in support plans must be relevant and ordered an independent assessment of
inspection. practitioners from those areas must be ContactPoint’s security procedures to
Inspectors will select case engaged and actively involved in providing reassure the public further.
files and talk with children and services to meet identified The DCSF received the audit report
families. It is therefore important need. at the end of February. The full report
that case files are kept up to can not be published for security
date, information is recorded reasons but the DCSF has agreed to
accurately and services co- implement the recommendations to
ordinated and delivered further strengthen security.
within set time scales.
your common processes newsletter 3
One-stop shop day of CAF Processes
training benefits Darwen schools Nicola Raynor
workforce development support officer
Training in the Common Assessment “The day meant that in Darwen Vale 11 Nicola.Raynor@blackburn.gov.uk
Framework for school staff continues thanks staff, including all five heads of year, deputy (01254) 666560
to a day-long session. heads and key support staff, have been
The CAF team trained staff from Darwen trained. Other staff who trained included two
Connexions workers who support the school, Emma Clark
Vale high school and primary schools St Children’s information service
James’s Lower Darwen, Holy Trinity and the school nurse and the resident police
Longshaw junior school.
“The feedback from the day has been very firstname.lastname@example.org
Over the day, staff learnt about CAF, the (01254) 666757
lead professional role and assessment. positive and the staff felt they were able to
look at specific issues related to their school
Social worker Wendy Brace has been
around the implementation of CAF.” Ghazala Sulaman Butt
working with these four schools to get CAF
Wendy’s role has continued to give a CAF coordinator
off the ground.
social care – school link. In 2008 when CAF Ghazala.Sulaman-Butt@blackburn.
She said: “It felt a good use of staff time
goes live, the telephone, email and personal gov.uk
to put all the training into one day rather than
contact (where necessary) has been offered (01254) 666849
release staff in ones and twos across the
to all schools in the Darwen and rural area.
Denise Holdsworth from
East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust
Common Assessment Framework (CAF) CAMHS clinical operational manager
The CAF is one of the many changes Can anyone help me to do a CAF?
introduced in the Children’s Act 2004 Yes. 10 CAF Area Co-ordinators have been Dawn Walmsley from
and will play a major part in improving identified and will provide you with advice the PCT Safeguarding &
services to children and families in line and guidance. They can assist you with CAF co-ordinator
with the Every Child Matters agenda. the assessment and also during a Team
Some frequently asked questions are: Around the Child meeting. Ring the CAF
co-ordinator for details.
Do I tell some one if I am going to start
a CAF? Where can we find further information? Glynn Lowndes from Connexions
Yes. Register your details and that of the www.blackburn.gov.uk/caf. Connexions team leader
child at www.blackburn.gov.uk/caf Email enquiries to: Glynn.email@example.com
You will then be given a CAF number or firstname.lastname@example.org (01254) 267780
told if there is already a Lead Professional Telephone the CAF Team on
working with the child. (01254) 666745.
Common Processes Admin
What happens if the CAF offer is Is there any training provided? CAF: (01254) 666745
refused? Yes. We are offering different levels of email@example.com
Record refusal on your case file and notify training and have a training programme ContactPoint: (01254) 666885
the CAF co-ordinator on 666745. for 2008 in place. firstname.lastname@example.org
New look for young people’s
www.urbwd.com, the new online directory using the site and also that people are
that brings together information on services returning to visit it.
and activities for children and young The site is also being improved to make
people in Blackburn with Darwen, has been it easier to use. The upgrade will see 39
revamped following user feedback. new features added to the site.
The site has been re-developed to Improvements include users being able
make it easier to use and customisable to to receive text, email or newsletters from
users requirements, including a host of new the website about services and specific
Thousands of young people have already Users will also be able to create a profile
visited the website. and log in to their account.
Since it started, it has received more Children and young people have helped
than 167,000 hit and over 36,000 unique developed the site by giving feedback
visitors. through its ask it baskets and group
It shows a large number people are discussions.
your common processes newsletter 4