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

For Information - Childrens Services Update **New**

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
Email: liam.gregson@durham.gov.uk

Co Durham Takeover Challenge 2016 **Current**

Activities for the County Councils Takeover Challenge

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

Revised Single Assessment Procedures **Current**

Earlier this year, as part of a review of the Single Assessment Procedures which have now been in operation since April 2014, we wrote to all partners and invited feedback on the procedures.  Specifically, we asked whether the procedures were clear enough about:-
·         When and how to commence an assessment
·         The de-escalation process
·         When Social Work involvement should be considered
We also asked whether the procedures could be strengthened to reduce the levels of re-referrals for families.
A number of partners and colleagues provided a response, and these have been considered when revising the attached procedures. 
The following is a summary of the key changes following the review.  We have:-
1.    Removed all associated documents from the appendices and instead provided an electronic link.  We hope this will prove more user friendly for all.  Supporting documents are listed at Appendix 1.
2.    Included a section on the role of the Multi Agency Safeguarding Hub (paragraph 3.14).
3.    Revised the procedures to reflect the introduction of the new multi-agency social work led Families First teams (paragraph 5.1).
4.    Increased the  timescales for the completion of the single assessment from 40 days to 45 days in line with statutory guidance (paragraph 3.6).
5.    Emphasised that assessments should be proportionate to the needs of the family and recognised that not all will require 45 days to complete (paragraph 3.6).
6.    Increased the timescale to convene a Team Around the Family from 10 days to 25 days from allocation of the case (paragraph 5.2).
7.    Ensured that timescales for the completion of a Single Assessment should be agreed with the manager at the point of allocation and included manager checkpoints to ensure the assessment is progressing (paragraph 6.6).
8.    Recognised that most, but not all cases will require de-escalation via a TAF and we have set out clear expectations regarding how cases should de-escalate outside of a TAF process (paragraph 6.16).
9.    Included a section on the SEND Reforms and how support for children with special educational needs links with the single assessment procedures (section 8.0).
The revised procedures will be placed on the LSCB Website.

Partner Information Bulletin - Transformation of Children's Services **Current**

Please find attached the latest Partner Information Bulletin about Durham County Council’s current transformational change programme to improve Children’s Services.
This bulletin provides all the most recent information on the improvement programme, including:
·         The securing of £3.5 million government funding to support the development of new approaches
·         The creation of 10 new integrated teams across the county
·         Our plans to engage with you in the creation and development of a new approach to support our most vulnerable children and families.
For more information on the programme, please contact us at innovations@durham.gov.uk

Children and Families Partnership minutes: 22nd September 2014 **Current**

Please find attached the summary minutes for the Children and Families Partnership meeting which took place on 22nd September 2014.


Private Fostering information **Current**

What is private fostering?
Private Fostering is a private arrangement between a parent and anyone who isn’t a close relative, to look after their child on their behalf.
If it’s not a grandparent, sibling, aunt, uncle or step-parent who is looking after the child, then it may be a private fostering arrangement.
Private foster carers can be friends, neighbours, host families for children who are in the UK for education, extended family members, or other connected people.
A child is privately fostered if they are under the age of 16 (or 18 if they are disabled) and the arrangement is likely to last for 28 days or more. It is a legal requirement to inform the council about the arrangement  read more


Change of Social Care Direct and First Contact Telephone Number **Current**

First Contact Service and Social Care Direct telephone number is changing
From 1 August 2014 the 0845 First Contact Service/Social Care Direct telephone number will be discontinued and a dedicated, easy to remember telephone number, 03000 26 79 79, will be in operation.
An automated message to advise callers of the new number will be provided and calls will be automatically diverted to the new 03000 number for an initial period of 6 months.
I would be most grateful if you could share this information widely and include it in any newsletters/publications you may do.
I have attached a flyer, please feel free to use this and if you require any additional information please do not hesitate to contact me.

Children, Young People and Families Plan 2014-17 **Current**

The Children, Young People and Families Plan 2014-17 was has now been published  
If you have any queries, please don’t hesitate to contact Julie Bradbrook, Partnership Manager on 03000 267325 or email: Julie.bradbrook@durham.gov.uk

Children, Young People and Families Plan 2014 – 2017.

Transformation of Children's Services - Briefing for partners **Current**

Circulated on behalf of Carole Payne, Head of Children’s Services, Children & Adults Services
Please find attached an important briefing for all our partners to announce the launch of the new “Single Assessment Framework”.  The briefing explains what it will mean for you, our partners, and includes links where you can find further information.  Please do share this briefing with all appropriate colleagues.

New health and wellbeing evidence available – Joint Strategic Needs Assessment 2013 **Current**
Latest data showing the current and future health and wellbeing needs of local people is now available.
The Joint Strategic Needs Assessment (JSNA) ensures that health and social care services are provided in the right place at the right time and offer excellent value for money. In this way, health inequalities throughout the county will be reduced. The County Durham JSNA 2013 is available to view online.
New key messages from the JSNA 2013 have informed additional strategic actions in the Joint Health and Wellbeing Strategy (JHWS) 2014-17. The JHWS identifies the key areas of health which Durham County Council and partner organisations will focus on over the next three years. The JHWS 2014-17 will be available to view on the Durham County Council website in April 2014.

Transformation of Children's Services **Current**

Welcome to a special partner information bulletin that will inform you of important changes taking place in Durham County Councilʼs Childrenʼs Services.
In a nutshell...
Childrenʼs Services are changing the way their services are accessed. Our focus for change has been to reduce bureaucracy and
simplify our systems so that we have only one assessment process that is continuous and proportionate. We want to offer help earlier, before families get to the point that they need specialist services, and we need all agencies to work together to provide effective help. We also want to make sure that we deal with underlying issues and prevent the cases needing to be reopened at a later date.

Resilience Strategic Framework for County Durham version 6 **Current**

Sent on behalf of Gill O’Neill
Please find attached the draft resilience strategic framework for County Durham.  This is draft so please ignore formatting issues and the references as there is significant work still to be done on these areas.  Can I have all comments back to me by the end of Friday 28th February at gill.o’neill@durham.gov.uk.

County Wide Social Norms Materials Available Now! **Current**

The Cornforth Partnership surveyed 7889 secondary school age students across County Durham last year. We conducted a healthy lifestyle survey asking questions about students perceptions regarding their peers attitudes towards smoking, drinking and sex as well as questions about their own behaviour. What we found was that the vast majority of students perceive that more of their peers are engaging in risky behaviour than is actually the case. As a result we have produced a range of posters highlighting the positive healthy behaviour of the majority of young people across our County. Our vision is to tackle this misperception and raise awareness of the fact that the majority of young people are making healthy choices.

Attached is the poster campaign and order form. If you would like to order any posters to help us to raise awareness and promote a positive image of young people, please complete the attached order form and return it to us at Cornforth House to receive your free posters.

Update on the Sustainable Community Strategy **Current**

Please find attached an update report relating to the Sustainable Community Strategy, which is the overarching strategic plan for County Durham.
The SCS is the overarching strategic plan for the county covering 20 years (2010 – 2030).  It takes account of the needs, views and aspirations of people living and working in the County and sets out the most important issues that we need to come together to address.  It is reviewed every three to four years to ensure that it remains relevant, fresh and valuable source of information and guidance for everyone working to improve outcomes for people in County Durham.

Equipment Advice Service **Current**

Does illness or disability sometimes make life difficult? Having the right aids and equipment can make life so much easier but how do you know what’s right for you?

There is a huge range of aids and equipment available to buy costing from a few pence to thousands of pounds and making the right choice can often be difficult.

Durham County Council’s Equipment Advice Service offers free impartial information about a huge range of products and services for people with a disability who live in County Durham. The can offer advice on the type of products available which would make your life easier.
A website, www.equip-yourself-durham.org.uk is also available offering a free and easy to use way of assessing your own equipment needs.

The Equipment Advice Service can be contacted between Monday and Thursday from 10.00am - 3.00pm.by telephoning 0191 384 6726 or by email on equipmentadvice@durham.gov.uk 

More Information


Children and Families Partnership **Current**


Please find attached the minutes and revised governance structure chart following the Children and Families Partnership meeting which took place on 24th September 2013.
If you have any further queries, please do not hesitate to contact me.
Julie Bradbrook
Partnership ManagerChildren and Adults Services
Tel: 03000 267325
Email: julie.bradbrook@durham.gov.uk


CFP Governance Structures


A Message from Rachael Shimmin - Children and Adults Services Restructure **Current**


I am writing to inform you that Carole Payne has been appointed to the new post of Head of Children’s Services within Children and Adults Services with effect from Monday 14th October 2013.


A diagram is attached which illustrates the revised responsibilities at Head of Service level within Children and Adults Services.


The departure of Gail Hopper, Head of Service Children’s Care, to take up the post of Director of Children’s Services at Rochdale Borough Council, has provided an opportunity to re-align responsibilities for children’s services in line with the following strategic aims:


*  To avoid children becoming subject to unnecessarily high levels of social care intervention by providing high quality targeted preventative interventions at the earliest possible stage working with universal services and through One Point.


*  To ensure that where children require protection we maximise social work skills in analysis, intervention and care planning to ensure protection and permanence either via return to birth or extended family, permanent fostering or adoption.


The transformation work that we have commenced in children’s social care will continue as will a range of strategies and approaches for example, in relation to a single point of access, a single assessment tool and a single ‘front door’ that directs children and families to the most appropriate level of support. Work on the safe reduction of our Looked After population and the development of a robust early help strategy are important priorities that will be progressed.


Rachael Shimmin

Corporate Director, Children and Adults Services


Head of Service Revised Responsibilities


Overview and Scrutiny Annual Report 2012-2013 **Current**


Please find attached a link to this year's Overview and Scrutiny Annual Report - a snapshot of the last 12 months of scrutiny activity within Durham

County  Council.