Case Study: London Borough of Enfield
By Luke Aldred
By providing a fully managed service of expert practitioners for a set period, we allow clients to simply ‘plug in’ extra resource instantly.
Project managing ‘edge of care’ support
One such project in 2018, was to deliver intensive ‘edge of care’ support to vulnerable children and families in the London Borough of Enfield through Sanctuary’s social work delivery arm, Innovate CYPS. This 18-month project was to deliver a statutory social work and intensive home-based intervention programme with 80 children and their families, split across two cohorts of 40 children. The children were aged between 7 and 16 with a variety of issues that had been identified as at risk.
Multidisciplinary social work recruitment
Each child had been assessed by social workers and highlighted to be either at risk of entering the care system or re-entering the care system. The programme required Sanctuary Social Care to recruit a multidisciplinary team of social workers, family support professionals, youth participation consultants and a family group coordinator on behalf of Innovate CYPS. This team was to work exclusively with those families and to make improvements that would deliver sustainable change; positively affecting the lives of children and their families to ensure they would never enter the care system.
Bespoke project planning and delivery
Carefully project managed by senior social work managers at Innovate CYPS, the team took the initial cohort of 40 children, supported families intensively for six months followed by a ‘lighter touch’ phase of monitoring for the remaining six months. This was to ensure the improvements made in the initial period were working, lives had been improved and that the changes were sustainable.
The team delivered advanced parenting workshops to the parents involved in the programme. These workshops set about giving parents the skills to manage their children’s behaviour for the better. They gave them the skills to understand their child’s emotional needs and discover what was going on in their child’s mind. They were also given attachment training to understand why children push against parental authority and how to manage those situations.
For the children, Innovate CYPS set up a specific youth engagement programme which encouraged them to get back into education, provide mentoring support, and to re-engage with their families. This project was given a unique brand by Sanctuary Social Care’s marketing team. This was to give the children a sense of ownership for the programme.
At the youth club, the social workers and family support workers we placed delivered activities to help encourage them. This included story board work, art therapy, graffiti painting workshops, fun and games. These helped create positive behaviours and re-engagement with education and society. For older children, they were given support and taught employability skills to prepare them for when they left school.
Carefully structured to enable change
Due to how Innovate CYPS structured the project, there was a devoted budget available, pre-approved so that whatever activity a social worker thought could work to help a child, could be quickly utilised. As an example, the children were taught practical engineering skills and built a bicycle by hand. If they completed this part of the project, they were rewarded and were able to keep the bike!
The team worked with schools in the area, to help teachers support children in their care so they could understand their issues in more detail and how to work with them to reduce truancy.
Health and social care resourcing specialists
As a recruitment organisation that works across the entire health and social work sector, if Innovate CYPS needed a specific professional to help the programme, Sanctuary Social Care could quickly access them. This included Educational Psychologists and Substance Misuse Practitioners where their skills were needed to support the project.
The youth engagement part of the programme was delivered by an expert in this field who had himself grown up in care, so he could not only provide the services required, but combine that with his personal experience of the care system. He also delivered training to London Borough of Enfield staff in understanding how the care system looks from a child’s perspective to improve their understanding too.
Supporting Innovate CYPS on this project, Sanctuary Social Care has improved each child’s life by affecting every part of their environment, their family support, their school life and their outside interests.
The professionals Sanctuary Social Care recruited for the project enjoyed far lower caseloads than traditional models which meant they could devote the required amount of time with each family to make a real difference and give the project every chance of success, a highly motivational model for them too.
The results of the first cohort of 40 children have been outstanding:
Cohort 1 Outcomes:
At Project Start,
At Project End
Looked After Children (in care)
Child in Need
Early Help Service
24 of the initial cohort of 40 children have seen improved results thanks to our project, where they are assessed by social services to be of lower risk than at the start of the project. Only 1 child from the initial cohort has been taken into care.
The children’s school attendance has also shown remarkable improvement.