Service and practice models

How services are organised can directly influence the children and families receiving those services and failures can have devasting consequences

We will be looking primarily at innovative, often muti-agency service and practice models. We will particularly focus on early intervention and prevention to better understand how local areas can introduce ‘whole system’ or place-based approaches to identifying and resolving problems at the earliest opportunity.  

What do we already know?

We know that how services are organised can directly influence the children and families receiving those services. At present, there is huge variation in how services are delivered across the 152 local authority areas responsible for supporting vulnerable children in England. We  need to better understand which approaches are effective.  

What more do we need to know?

Multi agency or ‘system-wide’ service and practice models are very difficult to evaluate and currently little is known about which models work best. We will generate new knowledge about what works best in terms of structuring multi-agency and multi-disciplinary support for children and families and assess which of the many variables are linked to improved outcomes.

What are we doing about it?

We are running evaluations of multi-agency and multi-disciplinary services including Multi Agency Safeguarding hubs and three promising models in Children’s Social care (Family Safeguarding, Family Valued and No Wrong Door). We will work with Government to identify the implications of the findings of these studies for policy and what should be funded or rolled out.    

We will work with local services and areas to share what we learn and what this means for them and the children they are supporting. Where possible, we will also create tools and frameworks to guide local areas in how best to design their services. For example, we will work closely with the National Centre for Family Hubs to reach out to the network of local areas developing family hubs, disseminating learning about service and practice models.   See here for more details on the Family Hub Framework

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