Supporting children and young people's wellbeing
Supporting children and young people's wellbeing

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Supporting children and young people's wellbeing

6 Multi-agency practice

The work of family centres builds on the premise that targeting early support for families facing difficulties provides opportunities for parents and carers to deal with life’s challenges. In the next activity you will explore in more detail the range of multi-agency services that are available at family centres such as Hedgerows.

Activity 6 Services working together

Timing: Allow about 45 minutes

Task 1

Watch the following video, ‘Hedgerows Family Centre’, which introduces the broader work of the centre. As you watch, try to identify the different services available for children, families and young people that Hedgerows provide, as you’ll be asked to make a note of them for the next task.

Download this video clip.Video player: Hedgerows Family Centre
Skip transcript: Hedgerows Family Centre

Transcript: Hedgerows Family Centre

TINA PRICE
Hedgerows Family Centre is based on Netherfield. It’s amongst the most 10% deprived areas in the country. People live maybe 10, 12 years less than areas, estates maybe just a few miles up the road in more affluent areas. We’ve got families living in multi-occupancy, some asylum seekers, so people still in poverty.
Morning!
MOTHER
Hello!
TINA PRICE
Hello, how are you? Nice to see you again.
MOTHER
Very well. Good, good.
TINA PRICE
Is it cold out?
MOTHER
It’s freezing, yeah.
TINA PRICE
Oh, bless you.
MOTHER
I’ve come for Toddler Time.
TINA PRICE
Toddler Time? Yes, it’s on today.
Hedgerows has been through a period of change, like lots of centres, but we are still here. And I think, for us, the most exciting thing now is that we are a family centre. So we’ve only been a family centre for the last few months. We have lots of opportunities to reach a wider segment of the community.
[BEEPING]
Morning.
FATHER
Good morning.
TINA PRICE
At Hedgerows, multiagency is at the heart of everything we do. We wouldn’t be able to, and we wouldn’t want to, offer the services to our children and our families if we didn’t work with our other agencies. We will have health visitors on board, on site, and they will be supporting babies, initially, through development checks, baby clinic. We may have midwives that will come in and do some pre-birth checks with families, right on through to sessions to ensure that children meet all their needs around the EYFS.
MOTHER
All right, thank you very much.
MIDWIFE
Good boy!
MOTHER
Yes, yes, yes.
TINA PRICE
We have art therapy, just sessions for children and their parents so they can play together. We also have an on-site day nursery to ensure that when they go into school, they have that school readiness.
[BABY YELLING]
TINA PRICE
But we have our youth partners in Milton Keynes that are part of the council, and they run sessions. So we have, at the moment, we have a group for young people who may be in the country as unaccompanied minors, a leaving care group, but also a youth group that may be running cookery sessions.
[CLASSROOM CHATTER]
TYAN
I started coming more regular, because my son, he had quite strong anger issues, and it was so hard to deal with myself, with my partner working full-time. So I asked for the support from the staff members, and they have supported me through everything I’ve needed, give me little pointers to different things that I could deal with. And it’s just, because they’ve helped out so much, I thought, it’s more of a reason to come and help my child develop social skills, as well as personal independence for me to be able to talk to other adults.
GIRL
Mine.
[CLASSROOM CHATTER]
TINA PRICE
Looking at the needs of the parents, we know what will help the children. But also, we want them to achieve in their own rights. A lot of our parents, not all, have experienced some abuse at some level. Therefore, it’s very difficult for them to, perhaps, parent their own children.
Mental health is a huge thing. Most of our parents are taking antidepressants. And we’re trying to support them through counselling or other avenues, encouraging them to volunteer or get back into work. We run domestic violence support groups, training courses around people that, perhaps, ought to work in child care, volunteering, to improve the skills of parents.
JILL
Monday, I was on a safeguarding children course, and I’ve learned so many things. It’s giving me an access back into education and to retrain into another career that I will find quite rewarding, which I don’t think I’d have come upon if it hadn’t have been for Hedgerows.
TINA PRICE
We worked with our community council, and they will send an adviser to us on a Wednesday. It will help parents with debt or any issue-- custody, anything like that.
[CLASSROOM CHATTER]
JASON
Well, my wife’s been made redundant. And when I actually spoke to one of the members of staff, they actually said, wait a minute, went off, came back, and they had times and dates of when the Citizens Advice person was coming in and when the employees’ person was coming in, so my wife could actually have all the information which she needed.
[CLASSROOM CHATTER]
TINA PRICE
It can also be that we have Mind working with us in partnership, and they’re running counselling sessions for us. We also run sessions for grandparents, so whether that’s counselling, or they might be doing art therapy. We visit families in the homes. We may give out food vouchers or vitamins. But basically, we’re here for anybody who needs our support.
INSTRUCTOR
You ready? (SINGING) Wind the bobbin up. wind the bobbin up, Point to the ceiling, point to the floor--
TINA PRICE
To me, wellbeing is everything for our families and our children. But wellbeing is about supporting families when they come in, ensuring that their wellbeing improves by having that relationship with that family support worker that’s always professional. But we’ll give them lots and lots of support when they need it most.
(SINGING) Twinkle, twinkle, little star, how I wonder what you are.
[APPLAUSE]
End transcript: Hedgerows Family Centre
Hedgerows Family Centre
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Task 2

Use the following table to record the different services available for children, families and young people at Hedgerows.

Table 1 Services available at Hedgerows

Service usersServices
Families
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Children
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Young people
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Words: 0
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Discussion

Many of the services available for children, young people and families at Hedgerows are summed up in the completed table below.

Table 1 Services available at Hedgerows (completed)
Service usersServices
Families
  • Health visitors
  • Parenting sessions
  • Midwives
  • Employment counsellors
  • Citizens Advice Bureau
  • Domestic violence counsellors
  • Community debt counsellors
  • Art therapy
  • Mental health practitioners and organisations such as Mind
Children
  • Early years professionals
  • Play therapy
  • Parent and toddler sessions
Young people
  • Youth partners
  • Community practitioners
  • Leaving care group
  • Group for unaccompanied minors

The focus on multi-agency practice is an important theme. As a family centre, Hedgerows is a multi-agency setting that works with different service providers spanning health, education, care and legal services. It works with health practitioners, community and youth workers, early years professionals, Citizens Advice, counsellors and charities such as Mind to provide services that meet diverse needs and that include infants, children, young people and their families (even grandparents). Furthermore, Hedgerows provides support for children and young people in care as well as unaccompanied minors seeking refuge in the UK.

KE206_1

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