Updated 1st of September 2018
Introduction to the Family Wellbeing Service
The Family Wellbeing team aims to provide help to families early, to prevent difficulties becoming worse. The team works with children and families from 0 to 18 years old, where there is one or more of the following:
- the permanent exclusion of a child from school
- the risk of school exclusion and school attendance issues
- parental or carer mental ill health
- parental learning needs/disability
- parental domestic abuse
- parental drug or alcohol misuse
- low-level neglect
- physical chastisement
The team has 16 family keyworkers who work directly with children and families, providing advice, help and support, they will work with families for up to six months.
How to make a referral to the Family Wellbeing Service
Parents and children can refer themselves, by phoning, emailing or writing to the Children’s Services Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH) at the number below.
Professionals working with a child and family can make referrals, however, it is a voluntary service and professionals must obtain consent from the parent to make a referral. If consent is not received, the referral cannot be accepted. You will need to complete a referral form (see below) with parents written consent provided.
If you are not sure whether the family meets the criteria for a service and would like some advice, you can contact the Children’s Services Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH) at the number listed below and ask for a consultation to talk it through with the service.
A senior social worker in the MASH will review the information received, check their records and if necessary make some additional enquiries. This will be done within one working day and a decision will be made about whether the family meet the criteria for the service.
The MASH will confirm receipt of your referral within 24 hours of the written record, stating the outcome of the referral.
How to contact the MASH
Telephone: Daytime hours (Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm) 020 3045 5440
Out of hours (6pm to 8am Monday to Friday and weekends) 020 8303 7777 or 020 8303 7171
Send the referral form to the MASH at:
Secure email: Childrenssocialcare.email@example.com
Visit the office: Civic Offices, 2 Watling Street, Bexleyheath, Kent DA6 7AT.
What help the Family Wellbeing Service can provide
On receiving a referral, a Family Wellbeing manager will check that we have consent from the family to work with them and review the request. The family Key Worker will contact the family within five working days to arrange to meet with them to start the wellbeing assessment and plan (PDF, 229KB). The purpose of the assessment is to explore with the family what is going well and identify the strengths that already exist within their family network. What their goals are, what they want to change and what help they need to make those changes.
The family Key Worker will arrange an initial meeting with the family and any relevant people from partner agencies that can help. Together, the family and those around them will develop a wellbeing plan, which will set out their goals and who will be doing what and when to reach those goals. The family will always have written copies of the wellbeing assessment and plans. The Family Wellbeing Service works with a range of local community agencies across the health and care sector. Our key partners include:
- Children’s Centres
- Midwifery and Health Visiting Services
- Education Services and schools
- Targeted Youth Services
- IMAGO – Young carers service
- Bexley Moorings – befriending
- Community Police
- Charlton Athletic
The family Key Worker will regularly meet with the family and others working with them to review how the plan is progressing and what the next steps will be until the family reaches its goals and/or feel able to manage their difficulties without the service.
If at any time the family Key Worker thinks the family’s difficulties are worsening and they become worried that the child or young person is at risk of harm the family Key Worker will inform a manager, who will consider whether a referral to Children’s Social Care is required. We will always work transparently, talking to the family about any worries and informing them of our actions, unless by doing so it would place the child or young person at further risk of harm.
The service has a central base at 105 West Street, Erith, DA8 1AQ and also operates at:
- Danson Children and Family Centre
The Danson Centre
Bexleyheath DA7 4EZ
- St Augustine’s Children and Family Centre
Co-located at St Augustine of Canterbury CE VA Primary School
St Augustine’s Road
Belvedere DA17 5HP
- West Street Children and Family Centre
174 Chandlers Drive
Erith DA8 1LW