Children and Families Hub
The Children and Families Hub is the access point for:
- Family Wellbeing Family Support Service
- Children’s Social Care
Information for practitioners working with children and families can be found via the Effective Support for Families Model webpage, which provides detailed information on levels of need and the range of services available to families. This includes guidance on the MSCP Indicators of Possible Need.
However if you would like to discuss a possible referral or seek advice and guidance you can contact the Children and Families Hub for consultation.
If you are unsure what support or services may be available or would like discuss a possible request for service you can contact the Duty Social Worker based in the Children and Families Hub for a consultation by calling 0208 545 4226/4227
Family Wellbeing Family Support Service
The Family Wellbeing Family Support Service work to a family plan, intensively and on a voluntary basis where a multi-agency coordinated response is required (level 3 in the new Effective Support model, where a family does not meet the threshold for statutory social care support) Family Wellbeing Service case practitioners will provide the Key Worker/Lead Professional role and work alongside the family to help them find solutions to their needs, working directly with family members and coordinating support and information sharing across the professional network.
Prior to requesting a service from the Family Wellbeing Service, practitioners who are already known to the family are likely to have already worked with the family via the Team Around the Family approach, using an early help plan. When it is identified that the family would benefit from a more targeted response than they can provide; they should discuss this with the family in the first instance to gain consent, and if criteria is met a request for targeted family support can be met.
The Family Wellbeing Case Work service work with families, over a period of 3 – 6 months
Family Wellbeing Service case practitioners will provide the Key Worker/Lead Professional role working directly with family members and coordinating support and information sharing across the professional network.
We work with families living in the borough of Merton where two or more of the following factors are impacting on a child’s development and / or family functioning and wellbeing:
· Domestic Abuse / Parental Conflict
· Parental / Child Substance Misuse
· Parent / Child Physical / Mental Ill Health
· Special Educational Needs /Disability
· Early Signs of / Low Level Neglect
· Child’s Behaviour (impacts on wellbeing/development, or deemed to be risky)
· Children at risk of exclusion/excluded and/or where there are school attendance issues.
· Overuse of chastisement of a child
Children’s Social Care
Children’s Social Care has a responsibility to Children in Need in Merton under section 17 of the Children Act 1989. That is, children whose development would be significantly impaired if services are not provided. This includes children who have an enduring and profound disability, which limits their ability to carry out the tasks of daily living.
Enquiries can also be conducted under Section 47 of the Children Act. That is, where there are concerns that a child or young person is suffering or is likely to suffer significant harm.
Enquiries under Section 47 can be made without consent as the concept of significant harm justifies compulsory intervention in family life in the best interests of children and young people. However, consent should always be sought wherever possible, unless doing so would place a child, young person or vulnerable adult at risk of harm. Professionals should never delay sending a Safeguarding Referral if they believe that a child or young person is suffering or likely to suffer significant harm due to not being able to obtain consent.
Requests for a Service should be made by completing the Children and Family Hub Request for Service form, attaching copies of any existing Early Help Plan/Targeted Whole Family Assessment and emailing the Children & Family Hub (C&F) secure email address.
On receipt of the request for service, staff in the new Children and Family Hub will screen this to see if the criteria/threshold is met for the targeted Family Wellbeing Family Support Service or for Children’s social Care. If criteria is met the request will be processed and the family will be contacted by a member of staff to progress. If criteria is not met, staff will either make a follow on referral to other council or commissioned services, or they will contact the person making the referral, advising about next step, and what other services may be able to support the family
For general enquiries to the Children and Families Hub, you can contact the team at: firstname.lastname@example.org