Lincolnshire are enhancing and improving their safeguarding and early help practices by:
- embedding the Signs of Safety methodology across social work policy, procedure and practice
- using alternative approaches to managing risk in young people
- creating a multi-disciplinary approach to improving academic outcomes and opportunities for children in care
- exploring the potential of integrating youth justice staff into wider children’s services to enable a relationship-based whole family approach.
Lincolnshire has redesigned social work policy, procedure and practice to place Signs of Safety and Restorative Practice at the centre. They have moved to a relationship-based practice model, enabling greater consistency for families by maintaining the same, or most appropriate, key worker for each child.
Lincolnshire have developing practice based on Research in Practice exploring how best to intervene and support young people engaging in risky behaviour. This new service Future4Me is being piloted which will support a new way of working with adolescents with risk taking behaviours to better support outcomes. The service should give families a greater level of empowerment that they say is lacking.
Lincolnshire is also one of three authorities leading on the pilot for an alternative to Asset Plus working in conjunction with the Future4Me service pilot as this provides a platform to align all aspects of service delivery. Lincolnshire has also created an innovative and sustainable multi-disciplinary approach to improving academic outcomes, progress, life choices and opportunities for all Lincolnshire children in care and on the edge of care. This is being delivered through the development and implementation of a clearly defined strategy Caring2Learn that will support schools to be able to nurture and promote attachment, and support foster carers to give children a thirst for learning so that education is cherished and encouraged.
Lincolnshire’s sector-led improvement offer is based upon fully understanding and scoping the requirements of the target local authority. This enables a robust agreement to be created with the target authority confirming the resources and timeline required to achieve agreed objectives. The type and intensity of support offered depends on the needs of the local authority and the outcome of the diagnostic. The offer includes tailored diagnostics that provide advice on how the ambitions of the local authority could potentially be achieved and test assumptions already made. It provides an objective appraisal of current arrangements, on what further work could potentially be undertaken and what support from Lincolnshire or others may be required. This mutually developed agreement ensures a real contribution to the local authority in delivering on its objectives.