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Review of integrated support for vulnerable families

Research review, best practice, case studies | May 2011

This review of research and best practice is concerned with the why, what and how of integrating support for vulnerable families via effective `Team around the Child` (TAC) or `Team around the Family` (TAF) systems and processes.

Many Team around the Child systems were established under the national Common Assessment Framework (or ‘CAF’) programme. However, local areas have continued to experiment and innovate using this base model and there is a growing recognition that support should respond to the needs of whole families in order to achieve the best outcomes for individual vulnerable children – hence Team around the Family.

The review examines a number of areas:

  • The underpinning policy or ‘drive’ for integration across the whole system in the United Kingdom.
  • Definitions of integration and theoretical models of integration from the ‘onion diagram’ to a more specific examination of the levels and types of integrated working within each layer of the onion.
  • The value of Team around the Child / Family systems as a tool to galvanise integrated planning and service delivery – including recent value for money studies undertaken by the Local Authority Research Consortium.
  • Key factors that contribute to effective implementation of TAC or TAF systems, for example: sector ownership, clarity about processes, adequate preparation for the workforce.
  • The critical role of the Key Worker, and what makes for effective key working in practice.

Finally, the review concludes with a summary of resources and best practice sites in relation to aspects of TAC/TAF systems, such as whole family assessment, multi-agency panels, key working, family member involvement and engagement, and measuring the ‘distance travelled’ for families engaged in these processes.

For further information please contact Katy Burch at IPC


Tel: 01225 484088