Agenda item

Family Safeguarding Model Case Studies

To provide the Panel with an update on the Family Safeguarding Model with an emphasis on adults.


Mairead Panetta, Head of Service: Safeguarding attended the Panel and provided a presentation that updated the Panel on the Family Safeguarding Model. 


Further to the presentation, Mairead Panetta, Head of Service: Safeguarding advised the Panel that:

·         The Family Safeguarding Model (FSM) had been launched in October 2017 in Bracknell Forest and it followed the successful model used in Hertfordshire.

·         Bracknell Forest had taken the FSM wholesale from the Hertfordshire programme. 

·         The Multi-disciplinary team had been established in a staggered fashion and the last member had been appointed in July 2018.

·         The multi-disciplinary workers had a range of skills to engage with the parents.

·         Motivational Interviewing (MI) was a really important part of FSM.  MI was a motivating conversation approach which used empathy and a collaborative style and was just one of the tools they used.

·         The whole team had received MI training from an external trainer and they had monthly MI workshops with staff which featured a ‘MI technique of the week’ which kept the technique front of mind.

·         The 8 module parent intervention programme had been trained by external trainers, and provided around 50 tools they could use with families. 

·         Families liked the approach with tailored interventions.

·         Further training was being planned using in house trainers and would be offered to all staff going forwards.

·         The final element was the recording system which had been supplied at no extra cost and was implemented in June 2018.  The workbook was being tested with staff and the plan was to disseminate the workbook across teams in the future.


Further to the initial results of the FSM data provided in the presentation, Mairead Panetta, Head of Service: Safeguarding, verbally provided the Panel with some updated figures (to December 2018) which illustrated the results of the FSM.  These were:

·         Child Protection Plans reduced from 151 from the end of October 2017 to 109 by the end of December 2018 (reduction of 29.5%)

·         Rate of children becoming Looked After reduced by 30.4% from the end of October 2017 to 109 end of December 2018

·         35.7% reduction in care proceedings in the two FSM teams (42 families January 2018 to 26 in December 2018)

·         34% reduction in children going missing (April to December 2017 compared to April to December 2018)

·         65% reduction in pre-proceedings (26 families September 2017 to 9 end of December 2018)


Mairead Panetta, Head of Service: Safeguarding further explained to the Panel that:

·         York Consulting had been appointed to assess the quality of practice.  They had evaluated by conducting surveys, focus groups, met families and conducted an annual survey. 

·         Feedback was encouraging and clients were very positive about the FSM.

·         It was estimated that it would take about 3 years for MI to become fully established so that everyone was comfortable with using it.

·         Adult workers met parents’ needs with a better co-ordinated service and could deal with issues such as alcohol addiction etc. better.

·         Direct work with children had always been done in Bracknell Forest, but this was now being broadened to adults.

·         The mental health workers were offering a preventative type of service with the clinical psychologist working to get families to engage better with talking therapies.


Jacqui Wilton, Family Safeguarding Model Project Officer and Ollie Lamping, Domestic Abuse Perpetrator Service (DAPS) Adult Worker jointly presented and outlined a case study that demonstrated how the FSM worked.

It was outlined that:

·         The Adult worker’s role was to meet with the adults in a family who are abusing and encourage them to change their behaviour.

·         Case studies were shared once a month within the FSM team during the MI team meeting where success could be shared and lessons learnt.


Ollie Lamping (DAPS) Adult Worker outlined that he had been and still was working on this case.

·         The case study looked at a family. 

·         The parents had been married for 7 or 8 years, and they had 3 children

·         The two girls had gone to school and reported that the father had been threatening them with violence. The Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH) team did an initial investigation.

·         The children had reported domestic abuse towards the mother. The father had a religious and strict upbringing.

·         The girls were excelling educationally.

·         Male privilege was a real issue. 

·         Dad refused to be challenged. 

·         Violence often happens around pregnancy, and mum’s pregnancy was what had triggered his behaviour.

·         The DAPS Adult Worker had to deal with different cultural norms and background when dealing with this family.


Jacqui Wilton, Family Safeguarding Model Project Officer further explained that:

·         The parents didn’t recognise the concerns the FSM team had.

·         The mother was scared of dad and couldn’t protect the children.

·         The FSM team took legal advice and were advised that the threshold had been met for care proceedings, and that care proceedings should be considered straight away rather than engaging in pre-proceedings. 


Ollie Lamping (DAPS) Adult Worker described how:

·         Intervention adult workers came together with the social worker to implement the family safeguarding model.

·         Initially the parents resisted intervention.

·         Dad was removed from the home which he was opposed to and work began with him on the DAPS programme.

·         It was at this point the MI techniques took place.  The MI techniques tried to find some good around which changes could be affected.

·         Mental Health also gave an assessment and the 8 model parenting programme was applied.

·         The Social Worker stepped in to give victim support which gave mum the space and time she needed to think about what she wanted to do.

·         The previous interventions had not helped but MI seemed to strike a chord with him and he began to apply the strategies that had been discussed. 

·         After 3 or 4 weeks Dad had phased return to the family.


Jacqui Wilton, Family Safeguarding Model Project Officer explained the 8 module parenting programme.

·         The 8 module parenting programme looked at all aspects of parenting.  It looked at parents’ own parenting history, basic care, the provision of food and shelter, how and when to implement boundaries and offered guidance.

·         The programme identified areas where support was required.  In this case Dad needed to identify and implement appropriate boundaries.

·         When the programme was broken into modules, it was easier for parents to see where they could change their behaviour.


Ollie Lamping (DAPS) Adult Worker described how the FSM had helped the family and how:

·         Dad’s parenting behaviour was learnt from his parents. 

·         He was provided with a time out safety plan so he would walk away and was made to think how his behaviour would affect his family.. 

·         Mum was empowered to have a voice and he responded. 

·         The family were now building a relationship with him.


Jacqui Wilton, Family Safeguarding Model Project Officer explained the difference the FSM had made:

·         The family situation had been de-escalated.

·         The current legal advice was that the threshold for care proceedings was no longer met.


Following questions from Members, Mairead Panetta, Head of Service: Safeguarding advised:

·         The family in this case study had funds to fund alternative living provisions, but in some cases Council funded B&B accommodation was necessary.

·         Funding B&B accommodation was rare as most people could be accommodated with friends or family but if there were real worries B&B accommodation was provided but that each case was individually assessed.


Ollie Lamping (DAPS) Adult Worker explained that:

·         This family were previously unknown to Bracknell Forest. 

·         There was no way that the FSM team could predict the families that come to them. The FSM did have some unsuccessful stories.


Mairead Panetta, Head of Service: Safeguarding further advised the Panel that:

·         The FSM Had moved on in Hertfordshire and was now working with children who were developing mental health problems within families as they can go on to use drugs and alcohol. 

·         The FSM team at Bracknell Forest would also like to move on to this. 

·         The FSM team at Bracknell Forest were working with health colleagues on the sustainability of the model and police colleagues to see if they would fund posts going forwards.


Jacqui Wilton, Family Safeguarding Model Project Worker advised the Panel that:

·         The effect of the FSM had seen a significant increase in children attending school for some children

·         Pupil attendance was directly linked to academic outcomes.

·         The FSM team met regularly with schools, the FSM was very much a multi-agency approach.

·         Schools put in additional play therapy if appropriate.

·         Further work was required on the figures that looked at the effect of the FSM on the number of children with care plans versus the national average and against other Boroughs.  The FSM was still in its infancy and this was something that could be looked at in a year or so, after 18 months’ worth of data was available.

·         Care proceedings are done in the family court. 

·         The police in Bracknell Forest do not usually prosecute for serious neglect. 

·         Criminal proceedings may run alongside family court proceedings.


The Chairman gave thanks to the Family Safeguarding Team for attending the Panel and extended an invitation to return in a few months and update the Panel on the FSM impact.

Supporting documents: