Skip to main content

The role and impact of social worker-delivered advice and consultation for community-based professionals working with children and families including 'social work surgeries': a rapid research review

Report | July 2015

This rapid research review has been prepared to inform the DfE-funded Innovation Programme in Hampshire and the Isle of Wight but it is of interest more broadly to all local authority children`s services departments working with vulnerable children and young people.

With reference to existing findings from research, government-commissioned reviews and best practice guidance, the review:

  • Explores the reasons why community-based professionals contact social care services, including because of their need to manage anxiety about children who may not yet meet statutory thresholds for social care intervention
  • Identifies the expectations of Ofsted relating to the clarity of thresholds amongst non-social care organisations, the extent to which children and families are offered help that is proportionate to risk, and effective information sharing plus examples of `good` and `poor` practice highlighted by recent Ofsted inspections in relation to these requirements
  • Acknowledges the relatively recent development of social work-trained `Early Help Advisors` who can assist professionals and families to find the right intervention at the right time and to manage concerns and risk effectively
  • Explores the research relating to how social work-trained professionals can help other professionals to manage risk, anxiety and case complexity as well as signposting them effectively into early help services where appropriate.