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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.