Early Help and Thresholds for Intervention
Early Help and Thresholds for Intervention - the Blackpool thresholds document, early help assessment and referral forms
All children in Blackpool have the right to live and grow up in a safe environment in which they are protected from harm, nurtured to build their resilience to any adversity that they may face and supported to achieve their aspirations. Some children will need additional help and protection to achieve this and this document provides the multi-agency framework by which all practitioners who work alongside children and families provide the right support, at the right time and in the right place.
Central to this approach is the provision of effective early help, rather than reacting later when more harm has been caused. Early help is everyone’s responsibility and typically best provided or co-ordinated by the organisations already working with the child and their family. Support delivered by practitioners with established positive relationships will always have greater chance of engaging children and families and maximising positive outcomes. Practitioners should make use of conversations within and outside their own organisation to ensure that their assessment is accurate and clearly reflects the voice of the child and family. Any subsequent action plan should be co-produced, with the child and family at the heart of discussions, to ensure the best chance of success.
The Blackpool approach is underpinned by Resilient Therapy. This recognises that every child and parent or carer has the ability to overcome adversity and flourish, given the right environment. It is centred on a resilience framework that strategically sets resilient moves that practitioners can make to build the resilience of children and families. A key principle is for practitioners to work alongside children and families, accepting their starting point, conserving and building on existing strengths, making a commitment to stick with them for as long as is needed and enlisting the help of others where appropriate. In this way, children and families become part of the solution and not just a problem to be solved. The model actively seeks out the potential positive influences in a child and family’s life and builds their capacity to provide sustainable support in the longer term.
The Children’s Services and Early Help Hub Advice line
Advice Line open from:
Monday - Thursday: 9am to 5pm
Friday: 9:00am to 4:30pm
Tel: 01253 478959
We are pleased to confirm that the advice line for professionals in Blackpool is now open. We have developed this service in Blackpool in response to feedback from our partners that it would be a welcome tool to support effective safeguarding practice.
The line gives professionals working in services that come in to contact with children and families direct access to a Social Worker for advice and guidance without sharing identifiable information. The Advice Line is open to all schools in the town, including independent schools, early years settings, pupil welfare and all health Services such as midwives, health visitors, school nurses and CAMHS, probation, youth offending, prison’s, police, children’s centres, fire services, drug services, housing, etc...
The Advice line provides advice and support to partner agencies to ensure we are able to support you to identify the most appropriate service that can meet the child and family's needs. During consultation you will not need to share the personal details of children and their families as the advice line is for advice and support only.
The advice line is NOT the direct route to make a referral in to Children’s Social Care. If you would like to make a referral to Children’s Social Care you should read Blackpool’s multi-agency Thresholds document and discuss your concerns with the safeguarding lead in your organisation. If you are unsure having done this whether a referral should be made, you and/ or your safeguarding representative may find it helpful to then use the advice line and the social worker can advise whether you need to complete a referral to Children’s Services and help you ensure that you share all the relevant information to support good decision making when the referral is received.
If you suspect or believe that a child is currently suffering or is likely to suffer significant harm or any form of mistreatment or abuse, you should report your concerns immediately by making a referral to the Multi Agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH) Tel: 01253 477299, or use the contact link provided on the council website.
The following documents all form part of this approach:
- Early Intervention Strategy
- Keeping Children Safe in Blackpool (including the pan-Lancashire Continuum of Need)
- Early Help Assessment Form
- Early Help Meeting Record
- MARF (including Child Exploitation 1 (CE1) Referral Form)
- Additional child and family member sheet
Please note that all referrals for statutory intervention in respect of neglect must be made in accordance with the Neglect Protocol.