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Early intervention and prevention with children and families: getting the most from team around the family systems

Paper | July 2012

Early intervention and prevention with children, young people and families has long been a concern of local authorities and continues to be a key area of statutory responsibility.

Recent national attention has been targeted to offer services to families with additional needs. This paper argues that having effective local systems to identify families who would benefit from additional support, and to coordinate support from a range of agencies, is at least as important as having effective services. The paper explores why local authorities should continue to support these systems and also, critically, how to make them work as hard and effectively as possible. It explains how local commissioners and managers can most cost effectively:

  • analyse their existing systems;
  • re-design these to work more effectively; and
  • implement and review them over time.

Advice on how to analyse and design a system is offered, including questions that need to be addressed e.g. Team around the Child or Team around the Family? How much family involvement should be encouraged, which lead professionals or key workers are most appropriate, should a multi-agency panel be involved, and if so how many and what is their focus?

Consideration is also given to how to evaluate systems to drive continuous improvements. IPC has also produced a self assessment tool to support planners and commissioners in undertaking an analysis of existing arrangements.

Finally, the paper discusses whether Team around the Family systems could work for other groups of vulnerable people.

For further information please contact Katy Burch at IPC


Tel: 01225 484088