Family support is a key WillisPalmer service which assists parents to develop their parenting ability, improves the wellbeing and outcomes of vulnerable children and young people, and aims to prevent the need for children being cared for outside of the parental home.
WillisPalmer provides highly-skilled Family Support Workers for intervention with families experiencing difficulties. Our services are designed to support parents of new-born babies by providing practical advice, guidance, support and safeguarding observation, as well as working with parents of children and young people who present challenging behaviour. Family Support Workers work alongside parents in the family home offering guidance and assistance to improve their parenting ability.
Family support can be provided as an integral part of our multi-disciplinary services, or as a stand-alone service for families needing assistance, guidance and practical support.
WillisPalmer developed a stand-alone family support service after seeing the value that support workers add to our Multi-disciplinary Family Assessments. Families often require support without the need for specialist assessments, and that is where our stand-alone family support services become so valuable.
Observations are made by the Family Support Workers, referring to objectives set out by the local authority and parents, at the beginning of the intervention.
At the end of the agreed period of support, an evidence based report is produced detailing the engagement and progress made by parents. While Family Support Workers will not make recommendations, the report provides local authorities with an evidence-base of the family’s strengths, capabilities and areas of parenting that continue to be a concern.
WillisPalmer aims to use the same team of Family Support Workers throughout each case to ensure continuity of working relationships with both child and parent.
ABC Family Support is a service for parents with babies from birth to 12 months, aimed at promoting the development of Attachment and Basic Care skills and routines.
The service is informed by Department of Health and NHS guidance for baby care. Each week, the Family Support Worker completes a consistency scale which records how successfully parents have engaged with the objectives set around basic care and the encouragement of interaction and attachment. Parents also complete a weekly confidence scale, designed to track how they feel they have benefitted from the support and put new parenting knowledge and skills into practice.
ABC Family Support is typically provided over eight weeks, although this can be extended dependent on the needs of the case. The support work hours for this service are tailored to the requirement of the local authority, and family routines. Prices include professional hours, travel, case management, out of hours service and quality assurance of written reports.
PEP Family Support is a 10-week Parenting Esteem Programme for parent/carers with children aged 2 to 10 years. During the first half of the intervention, the Family Support Worker supports the parent to complete a structured programme of positive parenting skills/strategies at home. In the second half of the intervention, strategies learned during the programme are modelled and reiterated to the parent and family for a further five weeks.
At the beginning of the programme, SMART parenting skill objectives are agreed between social worker, parent/carer and the WillisPalmer Family Support Co-ordinator. These goals are reviewed at week 10.
The Family Support Worker completes a consistency scale each week which records how successfully parents have engaged with the objectives set at the beginning of the programme, while the parent completes a weekly confidence scale. In week 10, an evidence-based summary report is produced and given to the family and local authority.
Prices include professional hours, travel, case management, out of hours service and quality assurance of written reports.
Crisis, by its very nature, is never planned. We understand the need for a service that is able to respond quickly to assist families in crisis.
WillisPalmer will consider any referral for family support, when accompanied by a Child and Family Assessment, and can undertake a same-day risk assessment. Our team of Family Support Workers are available to assist families and provide a safeguarding presence 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Family support is an essential component of our Multi-disciplinary Family Assessment.
A multi-disciplinary team, comprising an independent social worker, psychologist and Family Support Workers, work together to complete a comprehensive specialist assessment of parenting capacity with families where the presenting risks would otherwise dictate that a residential assessment placement would be required. The inclusion of Family Support Workers in the multi-disciplinary team creates the opportunity for the family to remain in their own home while assessments are completed.
As parents of new born children should not be subject to assessment until their child is at least six weeks old, Family Support Workers can provide assistance to parents, and protection to the child, from birth to the beginning of the assessment. The same Family Support Workers are allocated for this six week period, and to continue throughout the assessment, thus maximising the opportunity of a trusting relationship with parents and consistency for the child, for the duration of the case.
WillisPalmer has its own team of Family Support Workers who are reliable, experienced and well qualified. They all have experience working directly with families in crisis, with complex issues and challenges such as learning difficulties, drug and alcohol misuse, domestic abuse, mental health concerns, or where a child is at risk of entering local authority care.
All WillisPalmer Family Support Workers have a level 3 qualification in Health and Social care as a minimum requirement, with many also having BA (Hons) degrees as well as additional post qualification CPD training.
WillisPalmer has a rigorous Quality Assurance process to ensure we adhere to our longstanding, consistently high standards. All Family Support Worker reports are quality assured before filing with the local authority.
While we are proud to provide unique services, don't take our word for it. See what a team manager had to say:
"I hereby confirm that the service provided by WillisPalmer has been nothing less than excellent. Communication has been prompt and efficient, with phone calls when necessary. We as an organisation would most certainly continue to use the services provided by WillisPalmer when needed."
L.E., Team Manager
For more information about our family support service, contact our Head of Services Dave Wareham at firstname.lastname@example.org or Family Support Co-ordinator Fay Roffe at email@example.com or 01206 878165.
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