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Review of Team around the Family arrangements in Swansea

Report | December 2013

Team around the Family is an evidence-based model for partnership working designed to:

  • Identify families with additional needs greater than one agency can address;
  • Explore and understand the whole family’s strengths and needs;
  • Wrap support around them for a period of time with a view to promoting family resilience rather than dependence.

Research demonstrates that Team around the Family can be an extremely cost effective model for intervention with families across a spectrum of need from ‘emerging additional needs’ through to ‘complex needs’ albeit with different levels of intensity and focus.

Team around the Family arrangements were established in Swansea, supported by the local Children and Young People’s Partnership and Council, the Welsh Government and the European Social Fund (ESF) and the interested parties agreed to undertake an independent review of the model. The Institute of Public Care (IPC) at Oxford Brookes University was asked to conduct this review, funded by the ESF.

In particular, funders and partner organisations were interested in exploring:

  • The extent to which existing Team around the Family (TAF) arrangements in Swansea are evidence-based;
  • Whether the model is currently targeting and/or working with the ‘right’ families in terms of those likely to benefit most from TAF at the right time;
  • The impact of the existing arrangements on outcomes for children, young people and families;
  • The extent to which the model promotes multi-agency cooperation and coordination;
  • Whether the model represents good value for money and whether it makes best use of the total resource available in the ‘whole system’ of support for children, young people and families;
  • What improvements, if any, are recommended and how might these be achieved.

To meet the above aims, IPC

  • Analysed key local documentation;
  • Undertook an audit of 31 recently completed TAF cases;
  • Interviewed or facilitated a focus group meeting with key professional stakeholders;
  • Undertook follow up interviews with families participating in TAF and their key workers;
  • Undertook a cost benefit analysis in relation to the 5 in depth case studies of families participating in TAF.