Round two of the Department for Education’s Children’s Social Care Innovation Programme has found that the family safeguarding model is “replicable and effective” in preventing children going into care and reducing child protection plans.
The aim of family safeguarding is to get people who are supporting the same family to work in a team, share their insights, concerns and risks, to ultimately improve outcomes.
It is this integrated approach that has helped to reduce both the numbers of children going into care and costs across public services, at Hertfordshire County Council.
We’ve been working in partnership with Hertfordshire County Council who pioneered the model to help facilitate the implementation of family safeguarding at a number of local authorities using Mosaic, our customer-led social care case management software.
Workflows proven to work well
Our Customer-Led Configuration (CLC) is a toolkit of effective ways of working, drawn from local authorities and curated by us. It standardises workflows and forms that have been proven to work well. We’ve been using the successful Hertfordshire model to standardise a Family Safeguarding Workbook workflow which can then be tailored to meet another local authority’s specific needs.
At the heart of a successful family safeguarding model is collaboration. The approach sees specialist practitioners – with expertise in areas such as domestic abuse, mental health or substance misuse – integrated within children’s safeguarding teams, with the aim of providing comprehensive support. Mosaic’s Family Safeguarding Workbook allows multiple practitioners to engage with a family in one very clear workflow. Essential and necessary information is made easily accessible to all the professionals involved.
Recording information once, and once only
In Mosaic, group working functionality enables social care workers to input information against multiple records at the same time. Meaning they only have to update information on individual family members once, creating more efficient working practices, and reducing the risk of human error. As well as recording workflow against multiple children at the same time, other features include adding case notes, change of address or changes to personal and professional relationships, which can be applied to all or specific members of the family at once.
The flexibility of group workflow also enables ‘individual’ as well as ‘group’ fields within forms. This ensures that the specific needs and voice of each of the children is captured, thus maintaining an individual case record for sharing with different professionals and family members. Each local authority can also add granular permissions so that only the appropriate and necessary information is accessible to each specialist practitioner.
Funding for future development
The family safeguarding model has already improved safeguarding outcomes for children and families across the country, and with further Department of Education investment, there is an exciting opportunity to develop the approach further.
Over the coming months, we’ll continue to build on and evolve our forms and workflows to reflect the ever-changing requirements of local government, and to support our local authority customers in creating effective safeguarding models for families across the UK.
Hertfordshire County Council Quote
“Hertfordshire Strengthening Families, Protecting Children Team is delighted that the recent DfE evaluation of the roll out of Family Safeguarding to four additional authorities between 2017-19 has been shown to be ‘effective at preventing children from becoming looked after (where that is safe and appropriate)’.
“We are now involved in a national roll out of the model to six more local authorities with funding and support from the DfE. Part of our mission has been to guide purposeful social work and create a recording system that meets the needs of our multi-disciplinary teams.
“Servelec has been an excellent partner in this mission, sharing our passion to ensure we continue to evolve the Mosaic recording system to improve practice, to more closely meet the needs of safeguarding practitioners, reduce bureaucracy and make recording more proportionate and relevant for children and families. We are so glad to have Servelec as our partners in Family Safeguarding.”
Ian Anker, IT Lead, Strengthening Families, Protecting Children Programme, Hertfordshire Family Safeguarding Project, Hertfordshire County Council.