Children's and Families Partnership

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



Purpose of the Think Family Learning Networks

A key objective of the County Durham Think Family Learning Networks is to facilitate practitioners from a wide range of Adult, Children and Health Services to develop their knowledge, skills and expertise to deliver effective ‘think family’ interventions and support. To support this work we would like to invite practitioners and managers to a quarterly   ‘Think Family Learning Network’ to share good practice, learn what’s working and learn what we may need to do differently to ensure all our services deliver effective support to vulnerable families.


Mental Health and Special Educational Needs

  • The practitioner
  • The Parent, child and young person
  • Working together

The next Think Family Learning Networks are due to take place on:- 





Dates and



8th July 2019     9.30 – 12.30


10th July 2019       13.00 – 16.00




The Greenhouse

Amos Drive

Greencroft Industrial Park

Annfield Plain


County Durham



Xcel Centre,

 Long Tens Way,

Aycliffe Business Park, DL5 6AP


Refreshments will be available. Please join us for a cup of tea or coffee at 09:15 or 12.45 the sessions will promptly start at 09:30 and 13.00 respectively.

To book a place contact: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Think Family Grants & Services Update 

We have made a number of changes to the Think Family Grants and Services with effect from 1st April 2019.  Stronger Families Grant Funding ceases in 2020 and we need to try and prepare families to be financially sustainable beyond this date, to support this initiative;

  • Grant funding will only be available to families facing financial hardship
  • A budgeting tool must be submitted with an initial grant application.
  • In order to comply with earned autonomy and evidenced based approaches the application will require confirmation of Headline Themes as detailed in the Family Plan
  • Lead Professionals using Liquid Logic must complete a whole Family Assessment (including Headline Themes and have Manager approval) prior to submitting a grant application.

We continue to offer the following grants and services, each one should contribute towards achieving outcomes as set out in the County Durham Family Outcome Framework.

  • Essential Household Items: available to families in need of white goods/essential items.
  • Home Safety Equipment: available to families with children under 5 years old.
  • Bulky Waste & Skip Hire: available to families where cluttering is an issue and tenancies are at risk. 

We now offer an additional service:

  • Pest control Service: available to families where tenancies are at risk due to the home environment condition, or concerns have been identified for a child/young person’s safety.

With effect from 1st April 2019 the Handyman service will no longer be available.

To ensure that you are submitting the most recent version of the application form please access all Stronger Families documents via the link below.  Please note old style application forms will not be accepted from Monday 8th April 2019. 

If your team requires further support around the Think Family Grants & Services please do get in touch – I am more than happy to attend team meetings to provide information on our grants and services and their processes. If you have any general queries, please feel free to give me a call.

Tina Shaw

Think Family Development Officer

Children and Young People’s Service

Durham County Council County Hall Durham DH1 5UZ Direct 03000 266916 Switchboard 03000 26 0000 Follow us on Twitter @durhamcouncil Like us at Follow us on

Think Family Learning Networks,

Please find attached details of the next Think Family Learning Networks, I would be grateful if you would cascade information to staff.


Children and Families Partnership Performance

Please find attached the CFP Performance Report for Q2 2018/19.

A Vision for County Durham Consultation

As discussed at yesterday’s Children and Families Development Session – the link for the consultation on the County Durham Vision is

Corporate Parenting Panel Report 

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

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. 

Children’s Services Referral Form – Briefing Sessions 

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 

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: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Supporting Vulnerable Families 

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 

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 

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