We have seven key service areas dedicated to providing high quality services.
Family Early Help service is currently undergoing exciting transformation to ensure we have the services and workforce that can manage the unique position of interfacing with the community, offering Tier 2 targeted interventions as well as helping families ‘step down’ from statutory social care intervention.
This service, is well respected by partner agencies and impressively responds to such a variety of need – from small to large families, single to multiple issues and across age ranges.
Within the Service is the well established Specialist Family Focus Team which offers a targeted parenting, family Intervention and outreach support service. Practitioners work in a holistic way offering bespoke and evidenced based models of intervention in the community, in the home and in in schools.
We aim to support children and young people reach their full potential through the delivery of a whole family model building on strengths to achieve positive outcomes and sustained change for families.
This service is at the heart of Southwark’s support and challenge to ‘troubled families’
Our front door for statutory services starts with our Multi Agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH),established in 2013 with an impressive commitment by a multitude of agencies who share information about referred families via a bespoke IT system. This has attracted both national and international interest with visitors from Australia, Japan and Finland.
Our MASH ensures the right decisions are made at the right time so our children and families are supported and safeguarded.
When a family require a child and family assessment our Assessment and Intervention service responds.They are well resourced so caseloads are low allowing robust, high quality assessments to be completed within a timely way, supporting both staff and our children and families.
This service also has a long standing specialist Pre-birth team that works very closely with colleagues in Health.This has received many positive commendations from external reviewers due to this excellent example of partnership working.
We are transforming our approach to working with vulnerable adolescents. Our Young People steam are dedicated to responding to the complex needs of this client group with the support of our innovative‘Keeping families together’ team.
Another example recognised by Ofsted as a‘good’ example of our commitment to delivering services who work in partnership for the benefit of our young people.
Safeguarding and Family Support service have fully embraced the systemic approach as illustrated in Social Work Matters. This has meant they work alongside the clinical practitioner service and partner agencies with a key focus to enable families, building their resilience so there is no longer a need for statutory intervention in their lives.
This service is currently leading on a project to better support families affected by domestic abuse by embedding two Independent Domestic Violence Advisers.
The service is well supported by a Care proceedings case manager driving improved practice for cases subject to the Public Law Outline. Staff are really benefiting from and enjoying monthly bespoke briefing sessions run by the case manager and our legal department to share and develop good practice in the Court arena.
Private fostering cases are managed within this service another area of practice receiving positive recognition from Ofsted 2017.
For those children with a permanence plan of care , they are allocated within the Care service. Ofsted recognised that although we need to improve our delivery to our children in care, none of the children they met felt unsafe .
Staff are tenacious in their endeavours to aspire higher, being clear about purpose and impact and being the best Corporate parent we can be .
The service is well supported by our Virtual school , LAC Health partners and our CAMHS Carelink service offering dedicated assessment and therapeutic support to children in care .
Permanence service has had remarkable transformation in the last year which includes a new dedicated Access to resource team focusing on securing quality placements for our children and young people, improving stability .
We have just launched the in-house Family group conference team ensuring no stone is left unturned to find families for our children and young people.
The first thing you will notice about Southwark Fostering Service is our commitment to therapeutic care giving. We recognise that children who are looked after need more than “ordinary” parenting in order to gain a sense of security and reach their developmental potential. So we have been working with the University of East Anglia since 2015 to embed and integrate the Secure Base Model into all areas of our practice – through reflective supervision, foster carer training, support groups and in encouraging carers to use every day play to build trust and develop attachments.
We are very proud of our adoption service who achieved outstanding in the Ofsted 2017. Southwark is leading on the adoption regionalisation programme.
Finally the Pause project sits in the Permanence service offering wrap round support and quality interventions to women who have lost more than one child to the Care system . This team is rightly proud of it’s impact, supporting women to take charge and rebuild their lives.
Southwark Youth Offending service is the last of the six key service areas in Children social Care Directorate . HMIP noted that they overall, found excellent work being undertaken to understand and address the particularly complex situations of children and young people, some of whom used serious violence against their peers and the public.
Their ethos is innovation. The service has an established engagement group led by a commissioned theatre company, a youth mentoring programme and an innovative approach to serious youth violence based on giving young people space to voice their fears.
To manage individual case work staff work in small practice groups of 3-4 YOS officers or specialists. Cases are managed through weekly group supervision. The focus is on using systemic family work to deliver individualised programmes of work to achieve second order change.
The service is well supported by specialist staff, an education specialist, dedicated restorative justice team, CAMHS staff, speech and language specialists, substance misuse specialists and a seconded probation officer
All services in Children’s social are well supported with dedicated Business support officers, with the aim to reduce social work time being spent on bureaucracy.
There is also a strong culture of performance sitting along side quality assurance, where high support and challenge is offered by our Strategy, Quality Assurance and Performance service.
Sumner and Curlew Houses, East Dulwich and Talfourd Place will be moving to Queens Road