The approach is to work in partnership with families helping them to understand where improvements need to be made and how they can make progress towards the goals that they have jointly agreed in the family action plan. By raising the parent’s aspirations we can empower them to make long lasting improvements and support real change for the whole family.
We work closely with other organisations to ensure that you receive the right support at the right time including:
- Schools and other educational establishments
- Children Centres & Nurseries
- Social Care
- Health Services
- Youth Connect
- Youth Offending Team
- The Police
- Social Housing providers e.g. Curo and Knightstone
- Community/Voluntary Groups/Faith Groups
- The Job Centre and the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP)
The Connecting Families team will work with the whole family providing:
- One worker dedicated to the family
- Practical hands on help, advice and support
- Help with concerns such as education, employment, debt, housing, access to services, benefits etc.
- Help for the family to engage with other services such as youth hubs and children centres
The worker will:
- Be honest and open; and listen
- Treat all members of the family with respect
- Involve the whole family in decisions about them and the services they receive
- Ask all members to complete evaluation survey’s to helps us improve our service
- To help family members:
- To get into work, education or training
- To reach their full potential and have the same life chances as other families locally
- To receive the services and support that their family needs
- To receive specialist help and advice if needed
- To keep their family safe and be successful members of the local community
What we will ask of the Family?
- To work with us and the services we engage for them
- To be honest and share information so the worker can get the right support for them
- To attend multi-agency meetings, family meetings and services as needed
- To work with us to create a family profile and outcome plan, and sign up to the actions
- To follow the outcome plan to meet the agreed achievements such as always getting children to school on time
- To work with us until key changes take place and improvements are maintained
- To feedback to us about what went well and what we can improve on
What will happen?
- The Key Worker will visit the family for an introductory meeting
- A team around the family meeting will take place. Other professionals will be at the meeting such as a health visitor, youth offending team worker, social worker and teachers, as required
- The key worker will ask the family questions to gather more information to create a family profile, this is an assessment of your family to date
- A family outcome plan will then be made with all the members of the family. This plan will detail all the actions needed to help make positive improvements
- The action plan will be reviewed every 3 months to check the progress that has been made and add any new actions that might be needed
- The keyworker will work with the family to address the issues identified to make a positive difference. Most of the visits will be in the family home. When we invite families to the Council premises we will ensure that these are accessible and safe. Where sensitive material is to be discussed with a staff member, or when completing confidential paper work, meetings will be held away from public areas.
We will put these families at the heart of our approach to deliver four main outcomes:
- Parents and children involved in crime or anti-social behaviour
- Children who have not been attending school regularly
- Children who are at risk and need additional help
- Adults out of work or at risk of financial exclusion and young people at risk of worklessness
- Families affected by domestic violence and abuse
- Parents and children with a range of health problems
Case Study: 'Back to education'
Person A and his family were referred to Connecting Families by the CMEO team due to historical poor school attendance. At the time of the referral being made, the young person had not been in school for the entire academic year which, consequently lead to a fine from the CPS.
The family started engaging with the Connecting Families Service and as part of the action plan, parenting sessions were completed; practical and motivational support was provided by the key worker, as well as using solution focused therapy. This all contributed towards the parents feeling more equipped to manage behaviours, and the young person improving their self-esteem, having increased confidence and successfully breaking down the barriers regarding the concerns of returning to the educational system. Since working with the family, the young person has gone on to complete a nationally recognised qualification on the Fairbridge Programme with the Princes Trust, the Wheels Project and they have now enrolled at Bath College where they have been attending every day, working towards a level one Step-Up Qualification Diploma.
The young person has achieved a fantastic amount in a short space of time and they have stated that they would never have dreamed of being where they currently are, and that they feel happier and more confident than ever!
Case Study: 'Syrian Refugee Resettlement Programme'
I am currently supporting two Syrian Refugee families, the first family arrived in December 2015, and the second arrived in February 2016.
Before arrival it was a joint effort from the whole Connecting Families Team and wider professionals in the Council and at the Home Office and Central Government, to ensure we were prepared and well equipped for the family’s safe arrival.
For us this required securing accommodation and fitting out the home with basic furniture and all provisions required in any home. We received amazing support from Genesis Furniture Project, The Nest and Bath
Welcome Refuges to enable us to provide a welcoming home.
I met my first family at the Airport, a family of four, mum; dad and two children aged 5 and 2 years. We had information before arriving that their 5 year old son was Deaf and Mute, The family spoke no English so through an interpreter I discovered very quickly how frightened they were. As a family they had embarked on a long journey to reach safety. They were unsure at this point if they had made the right choice and were incredibly wary of us. I could only imagine the thoughts that were going through their minds, arriving in a strange country with very little processions, unsure of who we were and where they were being taken.
After arriving at their home they started to relax a little and over the course of the first few weeks they realised they were safe and being well cared for.
My initial support after their arrival was intensive, ensuring all documentation was in order by applying for their Temporary Leave to Remain, Bank Accounts, Benefits, medical assessments and with them set up Direct Debits for their household bills. The parents are also enrolled at collage and have started English classes.
Although the 5 year old needed to be in education, it was unclear why he could not hear or speak. He presented as a very quiet little boy, with no facial expressions, living in a silent world. I supported the family to medical appointments and he was fitted with a hearing aid. This was an incredible experience; as soon as he had them fitted he left the hospital smiling and touching things around him in the environment and making sounds to express himself. The next step was with support from the SEND Team who are continuing to support him and his parents to learn how to communicate and assess him for the right educational provision. To date he has changed into a very happy little boy who is learning new ways of communicating, he is currently attending the same nursery as his younger sister to prepare him for his transition into school in September.
The family have found the isolation and boredom difficult to cope with. In Syria, the father worked long hours, providing for his family and is very keen to work here in the UK. Mum stayed at home with extended family and had a large network around her. Since more families have arrived this year, they are starting to build a community network and are feeling more settled. We are currently arranging volunteering work at Bath City Farm for all the dads and introducing the families to the Sports Centres, Library’s and
other universal provisions. This work has been very challenging and yet incredibly rewarding, I have learnt a lot about their culture and ensured I have respected this throughout. Both families I am supporting are very grateful for the help they have received and the opportunity to provide education and safety for their children.