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Hertfordshire County Council

A whole family approach to child protection, providing help and support they need from different professionals working as one team. We work with parents to support them to create sustained change for themselves and their children with the aim to keep more children safely at home with their families.

Part of the DfE Strengthening Families, Protecting Children (SFPC) Programme.

 

Contact us

Email Hertfordshire's Family Safeguarding Project Team at fsprojectteam@hertfordshire.gov.uk

Visit our Community of Practice Yammer group to share best practice or join the conversation.

Don't have access? Email communityofpractice@hertfordshire.gov.uk to join the group.

We've changed how we work with families...

We work with parents to build on strengths and identify positive changes. It's not about imposing change on them. That includes:

  • motivational interviewing – A strengths-based conversational approach that encourages families to choose change. multi-disciplinary teams  A team of specialists working together to address parental domestic abuse, mental health and substance misuse
  • the family safeguarding workbook & family programme– An assessment of need leading to a programme of tailored support
  • group case supervision monthly supervision for each case with input from every professional working with the family

 

DfE's Strengthening Families programme

The Department for Education (DfE) are rolling out a £84m Strengthening Families programme consisting of 3 successful innovation projects:

  • Hertfordshire’s award-winning Family Safeguarding Programme
  • Leeds Family Valued
  • North Yorkshire’s No Wrong Door.

 

Evidencing the outcomes of Family Safeguarding

In 2017 the DfE commissioned an evaluation of the Hertfordshire Family Safeguarding Model which evidenced;

  • 66% reduction in repeat police call outs to domestic abuse incidents
  • 53% reduction in emergency hospital admissions for adults
  • 50% reduction in child protection plans
  • 38% reduction in care proceedings
  • £2.6m reduction in expenditure for the first year
  • Staff across all disciplines feel more confident and less stressed
  • Improved recruitment and retention of staff
  • Partnership strengthened across all agencies and with Courts

Following this evaluation, in 2018 the DfE provided funding as part of a Wave 2 Innovation Grant to four further authorities to implement Family Safeguarding – Bracknell Forest, Luton Council, Peterborough City Council and West Berkshire.

A recent evaluation of Hertfordshire and the Wave 2 authorities evidences that the Hertfordshire Family Safeguarding Model continues to deliver outcomes for children and families and shows that;

  • The model is effective at preventing children from becoming looked up to 30% (per 10,000 population)
  • The number of children on Child Protection Plans has reduced by up to 46%
  • A reduction in police call-outs of up to 64%
  • The frequency of mental health crisis contacts has reduced
  • Social workers and adult specialist staff say that it improves engagement and outcomes for families and they wouldn’t want to work in any other way
  • Families say they feel they have been ‘worked with and not done to’ and that their chances of making lasting, beneficial changes to their lives had improved as a direct result of Family Safeguarding

Here's what Isabelle Trowler, chief social worker for Children and Families, had to say about Hertfordshire's programme:

“The herculean effort that Hertfordshire has made along with the partnership in the last 18 months to implement this innovation project across such a large geographical area is so impressive.

The incredible outcomes as evidenced by the evaluation study (when it comes out) will ricochet around the social care planet in England.

It is so important that we learn from what they have done. The impact that this overarching care framework in child protection might have on the national system could be quite profound.

I think Hertfordshire might just be our national treasure."

 

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