With many adolescents exhibiting complex needs, Enfield saw a need for a more effective early response system that supports young people in a more holistic and comprehensive nature to keep young people out of the care system, where this is in their best interests, and to prevent negative outcomes.
Enfield created a multidisciplinary, rapid reaction service that works intensively with children, young people and their families.
The cornerstone of the service was the comprehensive assessment and case planning carried out by qualified social workers, involving other professionals as appropriate. This results in a bespoke, sequenced intervention for the whole family – a team around the family – for up to nine months.
The DfE-funded independent evaluation published in 2017 found that where engagement among families was good, the high level of support and challenge delivered by social workers in partnership with other key professionals made a positive impact; children and young people were kept out of care as relationships within families improved. Macro data provided by Enfield Borough Council showed a reduction in the costs associated with LAC across the borough and, based on the data from 2016- 2017, a decrease in the number of young people recorded as LAC. This showed a total drop of 20% of young people who were in care when compared to 2014 and 2015 figures and a potential saving of over £1,250,000. Evidence suggested that FASH provided a valuable service to young people and some families and that most young people experienced a reduction in safeguarding concerns.