Community Based Assessments are preferable to a Residential Assessment as the family will benefit from familiar natural surroundings with an existing support network of friends, family and neighbours; the suitability of that network can also form part of the assessment.
Community Based Assessments are more cost-effective than Residential Assessments and if families are able to stay together, the longer-term, care provision for that child is greatly reduced. This enables significant cost savings for the local authority over the course of the child’s life.
Whilst the local authority social worker continues to manage and hold responsibility for each case, our Independent Social Workers can deliver the Community Based Assessment providing regular updates through a comprehensive assessment approach.
A team of our Social Work Assistants reside at the parents’ home on a rolling shift pattern for a period agreed with the local authority. Typically, a Community Based Assessment will last for six to eight weeks, however, each can be tailored to meet the needs of the family and the commissioner. Usually, the amount of time spent with a family will reduce over the term of the programme at a pace that is safe for the child/children.
Every effort is made to ensure that a consistent team of staff support each family. The Community Based Assessment will be formally assessed by a qualified Independent Social Worker, guided by the day-to-day assessments from the Social Work Assistants, and quality assured by a Senior Social Worker.
CF Social Work can begin immediately after a hospital discharge.
Social Work Assistants reside with a family 24 hours per day completing daily reports and observations.
Social Work Assistants help families to register births, register with a GP and appropriate health services and signpost families to local support groups that benefit them, whilst building upon their external support network.
Ongoing, intense, parental guidance and support will be provided until the parent demonstrates the ability to manage with just observations – at this point a reduction of support would be considered.
Typically, the Independent Social Worker (ISW) completes a comprehensive assessment, with an initial assessment at the midpoint and a final report completed at the end.
Throughout the assessment, and particularly during the first 7 days, the learning styles and the needs of everyone within the family unit are assessed. This helps to ensure that we can work with each family in a way that benefits them and allows them to learn by their own preferred method.
If no progress is evident at the mid-point review, we will assess if alternative approaches would be beneficial. If this is not an option then we will not unnecessarily extend the assessment period; thus, saving the family undue stress and the commissioning authority expense.
Where appropriate a Community Based Assessment can be incorporated into the PAMS model to support vulnerable clients with learning difficulties in developing parenting skills.
Social Work Assistants (SWA’s) provide an additional level of safeguarding assurance to the referrer and the family in conjunction with the Local Authority Emergency Duty Team who are automatically notified of any safeguarding concerns as soon as they become known, both during office hours or outside of these times via our duty team.
All SWA's are monitored and supervised throughout their work by senior staff from CF Social Work.
CF Social Work offers both unannounced and announced welfare visits on behalf of local authorities to ensure children are safe and cared for in the community. We can tailor these visits to suit the needs and desired outcome, both day and night seven days a week. All safeguarding concerns are reported immediately to our duty service and in turn reported to the Emergency Duty Service. Detailed reports are completed for each visit detailing the SWA’s observations.
CF Social Work offers bespoke packages of family support for families in crisis and children on the edge of care. Our SWA’s provide mentoring and nurturing support whilst identifying areas of concern, with the aim to educate and support parents in making positive changes. During the work completed with the family, our SWA’s signpost families to services they require assistance with such as benefits, housing, and medical needs.
Our SWA’s will work with families to identify their preferred leaning methods, allowing us to tailor a plan that is effective in achieving positive outcomes
The service we provide has prevented children from entering the care system and has enabled families to remain together whilst overcoming the barriers which led them to be highlighted by children’s services.
In 2020, CF Social Work became CQC registered in order to enhance the support we offer to young people and their families, whilst ensuring the service was safe, measured, and led appropriately. This allowed CF Social Work to broaden the services offered, enabling us to provide hands-on care and support which can lead to positive changes within many lives, particularly during the challenges faced by many families throughout the Covid-19 pandemic where in-home care and support increased significantly. In 2022 we were inspected and rated as Good.