Luton Integrated family partnership service
Luton Council’s executive has approved a proposal to develop a new integrated family partnership service which will support the most vulnerable children and families in Luton.
Due to the catastrophic impact that Covid-19 has had on its finances, it was forced to set an emergency budget in July 2020 including £22m worth of savings. As part of this budget, the executive agreed officers should explore and seek views from the public and staff on a proposal to reprioritise non-statutory children’s services with almost £1.6m less funding.
The proposal involves merging several services including Flying Start Children’s Centres, Early Help services, and Manor Road Contact Centre.
The Family Partnership Service will launch in April 2021 and aims to:
- support vulnerable families in their local area through one to one sessions
- assist families and professionals online or over the phone
- deliver weekly workshops across Luton to work with parents/carers to support them in positive parenting styles
Where will the service be based?
There will be specialist resource teams based at two main delivery hubs at The Leagrave Centre, in combination with another venue in that area to be confirmed by the end of February 2021 and at Manor Contact Centre.
Each will have two satellite delivery sites at London Road Resource Centre and Beech Hill Children’s Centre.
What services will be available?
The integrated family partnership service will offer support in two ways either by directly working with a family or family member on a one to one basis, at one of the hubs or within the family home or through group sessions.
It will deliver a range of services including:
- evidence based parenting programmes (such as parenting adolescents, parenting children with disabilities, reducing parental conflict) and parenting assessments
- domestic violence interventions and support for the whole family
- school readiness support
- substance misuse guidance, advice and support for all family members that require it, through one to one and group sessions
- life story work to support children and young people going through fostering or adoption to gain an understanding of their personal journey, to help them integrate their past, enabling them to make sense of their present and develop a clear sense of identity for their future
- personalised support to young carers and their families
- mental health and self-esteem support for all family members that require it, through one to one and group sessions
- personalised support to prevent teenage homelessness
- support for families with no recourse to public funds including advice, guidance and limited support for people from abroad who are not eligible to receive benefits and are destitute but are ‘ordinarily a resident’ in Luton
- supervised contact providing advice and guidance to parents to help them build on their parenting skills in a safe environment
- Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) support for children and young people and their families
Who will be eligible for the service?
The Family Partnership Service provides targeted help to families experiencing one or more specific issues at tier three and four level of need (as determined by the Luton Safeguarding Children Board threshold document) when it impacts on the child or young person’s wellbeing.
Tier three and four cases are individuals whose circumstances indicate that, without support, their difficulties could worsen and that children or young people would be ‘in need’ or at ‘risk of significant harm’. Tier three and four level of need includes:
- domestic violence and abuse
- mental ill-health or other health problems
- families with an adult or child who has a learning need and disability
- drug or alcohol misuse
- families with adults or children involved in crime or anti-social behaviour
- families with adults who are out of work or at risk of financial exclusion
- young people who are at risk of unemployment or are not in employment, education or training
- children at risk of school exclusion or those who have already been excluded or where there are attendance issues
- families where there is no take up of the funded early years places for vulnerable two, three and four year olds
- early signs of neglect of a child
- concerns of child sexual exploitation
- concerns of radicalisation or extremism
- families and young people who are at risk of homelessness
- families with young carers
- no recourse to public funds
- children who are missing or reported as missing
- families who through supervised contact need support, advice and guidance to help them build on their parenting skills
- children and young people who are vulnerable and need help
If any of the above issues are acute or chronic and impairing the child or young person’s health, development, or placing them at risk of imminent significant harm, they will be supported by the statutory children’s social care service, together with the Family Partnership Service if appropriate.