Children's and Families Trust 
Below you will find information specific to our Children’s and Families Trust within Co Durham. 

Corporate Parenting Panel Report **New**

Please find attached the Corporate Parenting Panel Annual Report, which was agreed by the Corporate Parenting Panel at its meeting today. 

Many thanks, Jayne Jayne Watson Senior Partnership Officer Transformation and Partnerships Durham County Council Room 5-140/150 County Hall 03000 268 371

Restructure proposals for Durham County Council Children’s Social Care services **New**

I would like to inform you about proposals to make important changes to Children and Young People’s Services.  Consultation with staff and Trade Unions on proposals to restructure a number of key services for children and families in County Durham is currently underway. These services are:

The One Point Service, including Children’s Centres

Families First Teams

Child Protection Teams

These proposals are designed to build on our learning over the last few years about effective approaches, which will be embedded through these proposals and to respond to recommendations from the Ofsted inspection of children in need of help and protection in 2016. The proposals are also designed to respond to pressures currently faced by the service, particularly in relation to demand from children and young people who need protection including those who need to be looked after. In particular, the proposals are intended to:

  • Strengthen statutory and regulatory compliance
  • Ensure children and young people are at the heart of our service and that their experience drives our improvement
  • Build community resilience and partnership
  • Drive improvements in practice quality
  • Improve permanence planning for children
  • Provide more effective support for families with complex needs and to manage risk
  • Deliver manageable caseloads for practitioners.

If agreed, the proposals will result in the following main changes to service:

  1. The 11 Families First teams and 3 Child Protection teams will merge into 14 Families First teams with responsibility for all statutory level 4 work to the point of a permanence decision for Looked After Children;
  2. A new “Edge of Care” service will be created to support young people at risk of becoming looked after;
  3. A new Pre Birth team will be created to support pregnant women whose ability to provide care for their babies is subject to assessment;
  4. The One Point service will be responsible for all level 3 cases worked via 7 Family Support teams;
  5. Early help for families will be available via 15 0-19 Family Hubs, which replace Children’s Centres.
  6. Community alliances will be developed to support coordinated action with voluntary and community sector providers and other partners.

The Council is required to reduce its spending by a further £60 million by 2020, in addition to the £186 million delivered since 2011. These proposals will deliver a saving of £2 million.

The formal consultation period with affected staff runs until December 6th. Implementation of the new arrangements is planned from the first week in February.

The proposals do not affect the Looked After Children and Leaving Care service, Children’s Services Reform and the Youth Offending Service, although some of these are affected by separate proposals.

Partnership will continue to be at the heart of our work. If you would like to discuss these proposals, or wish to comment on them, please contact me, Carole Payne,

Children’s Services Referral Form – Briefing Sessions **Current**

The Children’s Services Referral Form has been totally revamped; this includes re-aligning the order of information needed and to reduce the amount of paperwork you are required to complete as part of the initial referral. Links to key documents such as the 0-19 Level of Need threshold document are now embedded into the referral form to make it much easier for you to use.

Why the change is needed? We have consulted widely with a full range or partner agencies and listened to all the feedback you have given us to improve the quality of the new referral form. This is to ensure that families get the right help at the right time and to provide help and support at the earliest opportunity. 

The new referral form will improve the quality of information submitted to First Contact. It will identify the initial level of need and will, in the future, have the capability to be completed on-line and is Liquid Logic compatible. 

From October the new Children’s Services Referral Form will be available to download from the LSCB Website. During October to December 2017 First Contact will accept both old and new referral forms. Only the new referral form will be accepted from 2018.

The LSCB are holding briefing sessions to update staff on the new Children’s Services Referral Form launching in October 2017. Attached is the Children Services Referral Form Briefing Oct 2017 flyer. We have consulted widely with a full range or partner agencies and listened to all the feedback to improve the quality of the new referral form. This is to ensure that families get the right help at the right time and to provide help and support at the earliest opportunity. 

To book a place please use this link below. The briefing sessions are now up on the website to book. and the direct link is

For Information - Children's Services Update **Current**

Please find a LINK to the latest Children Services Update Report, which was agreed by Durham County Council’s Cabinet on 18th January 2017. 
Kind Regards
Liam Gregson
Partnership Assistant
Policy, Planning, and Partnerships
Planning and Service Strategy
Durham County Council
County Hall
Tel: 03000 265141

Supporting Vulnerable Families **Current**

NCB has published a blog and a book A Practical Guide to Early Intervention and Family Support: Assessing Needs and Building Resilience in Families Affected by Parental Mental Health or Substance Misuse. This third edition of the handbook for practitioners on early intervention and effective ways to support vulnerable families looks at a number of the challenges practitioners face and presents strategies for overcoming the common obstacles.

Reduction of NEETs **Current**

Almost 100,000 fewer 16- to 24-year-olds are classified as not in education, employment or training (NEET) compared to the same period last year.

Losing in the long run **Current**

Losing in the Long Run calls for a renewed commitment from Government to vital early intervention services that support children, young people, and families. It shows that although local councillors believe in the value of early intervention services, they are concerned that maintaining spending on services, like children's centres, will get more challenging. The report looks at the downward trend in funding from central government and spending locally since 2010, and highlights a number of case studies showing how crucial these