In delivering services to meet the needs identified for a child or young person where more than one agency is involved, one of the practitioners takes a lead role. This practitioner is called the lead professional. This will ensure that meetings of all the practitioners working with a child, young person or family take place, and services are delivered that are joined up and achieve intended outcomes. These arrangements are known as the Team Around the Child and the lead professional is key to this achieving better outcomes for children and young person. Team Around the Family may also be used where whole family solutions are needed.
The lead professional is not responsible for delivering all of the services needed by the child or young person, but takes on a co-ordinating role and acts as a single point of contact for the child, young person and family. Each member of the Team Around the Child network plays a part in supporting the child, family and lead professional in achieving the outcomes in the plan.
Who will do it?
Anyone working with a child or young person can be a lead professional. This includes practitioners within the core children and young people’s workforce (people who work or volunteer with children, young people and their families, or are responsible for their outcomes all the time); as well as those in the wider children and young people’s workforce (people who work or volunteer with children, young people and/or their families, part of the time, or are responsible for their outcomes as part of their jobs.
The lead professional is a set of functions to be carried out as part of the delivery of effective integrated service delivery to children and young people.
These functions are to:
• Act as a single point of contact for the child, young person or family, who they can trust and who can help them in making choices, navigating their way through services and effecting change.
• Co-ordinate the delivery of the actions agreed by the practitioners involved to ensure that children, young people and families receive an effective integrated service that is regularly reviewed. These actions will be based on the outcome of an assessment and recorded in a plan shared with the family and all agencies involved.
• Reduce overlap and inconsistency in the services received by children, young people and their families.
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