Coventry has experienced a high level of repeat referrals, running at 29%. Similarly, child protection plans have been at a rate of 66 per 10,000 population and there have been over 150 children subject to a child in need (CiN) Plan for more than 12 months. All of these figures are significantly above national averages.
The service comprises of two children in need teams, known as ‘Pods’, each containing four Family Practitioners who offer more intensive support to families, working alongside qualified Advanced Social Workers who hold the statutory responsibility for cases and manage a team of Family Practitioners (FPs). Each pod supports up to 48 cases each and teams are supported by a Volunteer Coordinator and a Team Administrator.
By using strength-based interventions, the service seeks to strengthen the family unit, instigating change to reduce factors contributing to risk and need. The service aims to improve the quality of support and intervention for families at this end of the continuum of need and to prevent re-referrals into social care.
The grant funding came to an end in August 2019 and Coventry invested in extending the programme for a further six months to March 2020. As the presenting challenges of open CIN cases has now been tackled the project has closed as at March 2020 with many of the approaches adopted by the Coventry team.
DfE funded independent evaluation will be published in 2020.