As the Brighter Futures programme developed, changes to services and team structures took place. Four Heads of Service, reporting to the Director of Children and Families, now lead on the following areas:
Children in Need
Children in Care and Care Leavers
Children’s Placements and Support Services
Safeguarding, Review and Quality Assurance Service
Other key areas include:
Early Intervention Services, including SAFE 0-18
Ealing Service for Children with Additional Needs (ESCAN)
Youth Services, including the Youth Justice Service
A range of other key services across the Council also support our work with children, young people and families.
The Children in Need Service comprises the following service branches:
Ealing Children’s Integrated Response Service (ECIRS)
Four Multi-Agency Support Teams (MAST)
The Children’s Housing Support/Unaccompanied Minors Team.
Ealing Children’s Integrated Response Service (ECIRS)
This is a multi-agency service led by a team manager and staffed by deputy managers, social workers, family support workers and information and advice officers.
ECIRS also encompasses the MASH (Multi-Agency Support Hub), which involves staff from social care, health agencies and the police, sharing and risk-managing police referrals.
ECIRS is the single point of entry for all enquiries regarding the welfare of a child or young person in Ealing. ECIRS assesses concerns that professionals and the public may have about a child/young person to make informed decisions about levels of vulnerability.
ECIRS also offers information and advice to parents, carers and partner agencies, while directing families towards appropriate services.
Multi Agency Support Teams (MAST)
Our MAST service comprises four multi-disciplinary teams. These are: Central, Acton, Greenford and a specialist Adolescent Team.
MAST provides statutory assessments and care planning for children who are the subject of Child Protection and Child in Need plans.
Each team is managed by a team manager and made up of 3-4 smaller pods staffed by a deputy manager, social workers, family support workers and a practice support officer, supported by a clinical psychologist. The Adolescent MAST team also includes youth workers.
The specialist pre-birth pod, based within the Central MAST Team, specialises in delivering assessments and care planning for unborn children and babies up to one year old and their families.
The Adolescent MAST team specialises in delivering assessments and intensive interventions to young people aged 13 to 17yrs and their families. It aims to prevent family breakdown and the likelihood of children and young people entering the care system.
Housing Support/Unaccompanied Minors Team
This team works with children and families who are not eligible for services via the Housing Department but where there is a statutory duty to provide some services. This includes families with no recourse to public funds and homeless 16 and 17-year olds.
The team also supports children and young people who have arrived in the UK and are claiming asylum (either accompanied or unaccompanied). Team members undertake assessments (including age assessments) and will provide accommodation and support as required by law.
In addition, the team monitors and supports private fostering arrangements through which a parent may organise for their child who is under 16 (18 if disabled) to live with a friend or non-close relative for 28 days or more.
The children in care and care leavers service comprises the following service branches. All teams are supported by The Children in Care health service and Ealing’s Virtual School as well as a Contact Service. Children’s placement are commissioned through our dedicated Access to Resources Team (ART).
Care planning service
Leaving care service
Here is a summary of each branch
Services for children in care are provided by multi-disciplinary Connect Teams, which also support foster carers.
The teams are comprised of social workers, supervising social workers (for foster carers) and clinical psychologists. They develop relationships with children and young people and support them so that they are able to understand what is happening in their lives and make positive choices so that being looked after is not a barrier to success.
Each team works closely with carers, education services and health services, as well as independent reviewing officers. They help children maintain contact with birth families and provide support where children are being reunified with families.
Care Planning Service
This service is comprised of our Court Team, Kinship Team and Family Finding Service.
The Court Team is responsible for working with the law courts in situations where legal proceedings are required in order to secure plans for a child or young person’s future.
The Kinship Team undertakes assessments of potential kinship foster carers and all Special Guardianship assessments. The team also provides support and guidance to social workers carrying out viability assessments across the wider service.
The Family Finding service works closely with the Court and Kinship Teams to achieve permanency for children without unnecessary delay.
Leaving Care Service
The Leaving Care Teams provide services to children and young people who are preparing to leave care. The team works with young people from the ages of 16 to 25 who are eligible for services under the Children (Leaving Care) Act 2000.
Services include the provision of advice and support to enable young people to prepare for living as independently as possible; assistance with finding accommodation; education support and financial assistance.
In addition, our Horizons Education and Achievement Centre provides social, educational, leisure activities and support. This includes those young people living outside the borough.
Finally, the Semi-Independence Outreach Team supports care leavers as they begin independent living.
The Safeguarding, Review and Quality Assurance service is central to children’s services spanning all areas.
The service is directly responsible for the statutory Local Authority Designated Officer (LADO), the Child Protection Conference Service (including the Child Protection Advisors team), the Independent Reviewing Officer (IRO), and the CSE/Missing and Vulnerable Adolescents staff.
It also has a lead role and responsibilities for supporting Ealing Safeguarding Children Board (ESCB), the Children with Disabilities Team, and the Domestic Violence Intervention Project (DVIP).
Furthermore, the service contributes information to various Risk Panels and Forums, and provides Training for Children’s Services as well as the Ealing Safeguarding Children Board (ESCB).
This service comprises the Fostering Recruitment and Assessment Team, the Adoption and Adoption Support Teams, and Business Support Services that provide administrative support across Children and Families services.
Recruitment and Assessment Team
This team recruits foster carers and adopters. It also trains and assesses foster carers for suitability to care for Ealing’s looked-after children.
The team recruits generally through marketing initiatives designed to attract people interested in fostering or adoption.
The Adoption Team assesses prospective adopters and finds families for specific children. The team also prepares adopters for everything involved in adopting a child.
Detailed assessments of prospective adopters are prepared by team members and taken to the Adoption Panel to seek approval. The team then supports approved adopters and seeks to match them with a child
Adoption Support Team
This team provides a range of support services to adoptive families. This may include therapeutic support for children, training and support groups for adopters, and services for adopted adults.
The team also facilitates contact between children and relevant members of their birth families, either directly or indirectly.
Ealing Service for Children with Additional Needs (ESCAN)
Ealing Service for Children with Additional Needs (ESCAN) is a joint service between London Northwest Healthcare, Ealing Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) and Ealing Council.
It provides a wide range of educational, and health and social care services from a base in central Ealing.
Professionals may also provide support, advice and specialist interventions to children, young people and families, as well as professionals in schools, early years settings and health clinics.
Intervention coordinated by ESCAN ensures children with additional needs/disabilities (and their families) have the support they need to integrate into their local community and school. The aim is to promote independence while maintaining access to healthcare and other services.
Children with disabilities team
This team is integrated into the ESCAN service but has close links with the wider social work service as well.
Practitioners provide the full range of social work support to children and young people with disabilities and complex needs. This includes assessment of need, care planning and review, and safeguarding support. The team also provides advice, information, family support care packages and access to short breaks.
Building My Future
This new team aims to identify and test innovative interventions with children and young people aged 11-25 who have complex learning/behaviour needs.
This includes service users with learning difficulties and/or autism, as well as other mental health issues.
Early Years, Childcare and SAFE 0-18
Ealing’s Early Help Services are a key part of the Brighter Futures programme.
Through this structure key services work to provide advice, guidance and support. This includes the Family Information Service (FIS), which provides information to families on available local and national services and supports the Early Help and Assessment Plan process.
There is also Early Start Ealing, which a service for families with children up to the age of five that brings together workers from children’s centres, early years, health and other specialist services to provide a range of support.
In addition, there is our network of 27 Children’s Centres that each offer a range of activities along with access to bespoke services for young children and their families.
SAFE 0-18 is a multi-disciplinary service based on a partnership between Ealing Council, the West London Mental Health NHS Trust and NHS Ealing Clinical Commisioning Group. This service is delivered by two teams based in Greenford and Acton, comprising health and mental health professionals, psychologists, family therapists, social workers, domestic violence workers, family support workers, counsellors and substance misuse workers.
The service aims to work with children and young people from 0-18 years who have a range of issues requiring a targeted service response.
SAFE aims to intervene at the earliest opportunity to prevent children’s needs becoming more severe and entrenched
SAFE Plus will offer families identified as having more complex needs, a greater intensity of support.
SAFE aims to link families with community support that can continue to support families to sustain change once SAFE interventions end.
Other services include:
Emergency Duty Team
The Emergency Duty Team (EDT) provides an out-of-hours emergency social work service across the boroughs of Ealing and Hounslow.
Staff recruited for EDT need to be fully qualified social workers who are also AMHP specialists as well as experienced in children’s services.
Importantly, EDT is on-hand to provide services every single day of the year.
Ealing’s Youth Services are closely linked with our Children and Families Service, and workers continue to play a key role in supporting the Brighter Futures Programme.
Young people aged 13-19 years old (up to 25 years old for young people with additional needs) can access support from youth centres and clubs.
Meanwhile, the Connexions service offers information, advice and guidance on careers and future education, employment and training.
In addition, the Youth Justice Service (YJS) aims to prevent young people aged between 10 and 17 years from offending, and to reduce re-offending by young people already known to the police and courts.