“Providing early help is more effective in promoting the welfare of children than reacting later” (Working Together 2018)
Effective early support means that we
- identify children and families who would benefit from early help
- undertake an assessment of the need for early help
- provide targeted early help services to address the assessed needs of a child and their family which focuses on activity to improve the outcomes for the child
In Wiltshire we use the Early Support Assessment (ESA), which has replaced the CAF. The form is designed to be easy to use and enables:
- a holistic, strengths-based approach
- shared language across the professional network
- provides a framework for information sharing
- evidences progress
To register this assessment, please email or scan a copy, password protected if necessary, to firstname.lastname@example.org. An Early Support Review Form can then be used for Review Meetings after the assessment.
Virtual ESA Practitioner webinars recently took place to support the use of the new ESA form. The webinars were attended by over 200 practitioners across the county. The presentation slides from the webinars can be accessed Early Support Assessment Presentation.
The DART is a bespoke online tool for practitioners to help them identify their concerns for a child or young person, the level of their concern (risk) and be presented with possible sources of support, consultation and guidance. The tool can also be used to refer to services and create a basic assessment. The DART is accessible by logging in at: https://dart.wiltshire.gov.uk/ (requires creation of an account).
Neglect is the most common reason why children are placed on a child protection plan, both locally and nationally. SCR Family M (SCR in to 5 siblings) identified that despite long term concerns about neglect and other forms of abuse professionals found it hard to identify and assess the impact of this on the children. One of the children in the family was found to have been sexually abused by Mother’s partner and father of two of the siblings. This case review was the catalyst for ensuring practitioners in Wiltshire had a tool to better understand and assess parenting capacity and capacity to change and its impact on children.
The Graded Care Profile 2(GCP2) is a NSPCC evidence-based assessment that we are now using in Wiltshire. This is a tool that any practitioner can use or contribute to.
- measure the quality of care being given to a child
- spot anything that is putting a child at risk of harm
- support the engagement of parents by identifying strengths and needs and helps to target key areas to work on
- understand parent’s capacity to change
In order to use this assessment with families you need to attend a one day course run by colleagues from Wiltshire agencies who have been trained by NSPCC. Please visit the Learning Hub to book a place.
You can find more information about the tool at NSPCC GCP2 or by clicking on the following links:
NSPCC Learning has published a report looking at whether Graded Care Profile 2 (GCP2), an assessment tool that helps practitioners identify neglect. Findings include: GCP2 helps practitioners communicate concerns to families to bring about positive change; changes to home environment are often easier for families to implement than changes to parenting behaviours; and the parent-practitioner relationship is key to enabling changes to occur.