The Edge of Care Panel was revised in April 2017 to focus on 11 – 18 year olds and the main purpose of the panel is to prevent the escalation of risk and prevent children from entering the looked after system by ensuring that appropriate interventions are put into place.
The panel oversees a robust resettlement offer for young people in custody and is the entry point for planned access to Alonzi House and interventions such as MST (Multi – Systemic Therapy).
The panel meets weekly with range of partners in attendance and social workers submit cases for discussion via referral to request specific intervention to support the plan for a young person and reduce the risk of them being admitted into care.
Edge of Care Services and Interventions
There are a range of approaches and services as part of our edge of care offer; these include: Early Help Practitioners and the Early Help Parenting Team, Alonzi House, Family Group Conferences, Multi Systemic Therapy, Families First, and Complex Safeguarding Services. Outlined below is a brief overview of the services and the impact that is being achieved from these services and the interventions they deliver.
- • Alonzi House
- ⁃ Alonzi House is a Registered Children’s Home that provides a service to children on the edge of care.
- ⁃ Alonzi House provides a number of services including an outreach service working with children between the ages of 11 and 17 years.
- ⁃ Planned respite support is provided for children to support the family through difficult times mitigating the risk of a crisis that may require a formal response. This allows most families to work through their problems and to stabilise their family situation in order for their children to remain at home.
- ⁃ Involvement with Alonzi House is on a voluntary basis and families only accept this offer if they want to engage with the team. The voluntary nature of the service and the skills and ability of the team to engage families meaningfully. Support ensures children receive the help and encouragement they need to take part in positive activities, develop pro-social friendships and access their education offer in order for them to reach their potential.
- ⁃ Alonzi House provides a Family Group Conference (FGC) service that runs alongside the outreach provision and includes children of any age including unborn babies, children with disabilities and those with a mental health diagnosis. The FGC process is family led and includes private time for the family to make a plan in response to concerns. The central focus of the FGC is the child/children and they are encouraged and supported to have their voice heard. Every family is unique and the FGC process reflects and respects the culture and specific needs of the family and is driven by them.
- ⁃ Read more about Alonzi House here
- • Multi-systemic Therapy (MST)
- ⁃ MST has been implemented in Manchester since 2014, under a contractual arrangement with Action for Children. The service supports the Our Manchester approach as therapists and team members emphasise the positives they find and use strengths in the young person's world as levers for positive change. Focusing on family strengths has numerous advantages, such as building on strategies the family already knows how to use, building feelings of hope, identifying protective factors, decreasing frustration by emphasising problem solving and enhancing parents or carers’ confidence.
- ⁃ MST is an intensive family and community based intervention for children and young people aged 11-17 who are on the edge of care. It is targeted at high risk families where the young person’s behaviour across a number of systems (home, school, community) is unmanageable within the current capacity of the family and supports parents to develop new strategies to keep their young person safe. Therapists carry low caseloads to support intensive contact and work with families for up to 20 weeks.
- ⁃ MST is part of the Edge of Care offer with referrals screened and approved at the weekly Edge of Care panel.
- • Families First
- ⁃ The Families First Team provide a City wide service to support children on the edge of care; the service is commissioned by social workers who set clear goals including goals set at child protection conferences and bottom lines set within the legal arena. The focus of the work is with the main carer/educator within the family and there is an intensive day to day intervention suited to each family. The service is flexible to the family, and works between 8am and 10pm, working any five out of seven days per week.
- ⁃ Families First work with families intensively using some intensively researched and well evidenced proven interventions to focus on the family’s values, beliefs & highlighting their strengths & resources. These include the Options 2 model, Motivational Interviewing, Solution Focused Brief Therapy, Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, Signs of Safety and A tipping point for families. Families First work predominantly with children aged 0 – 11 years and this enables edge of care interventions to be tailored to a children and families’ circumstances and the presenting concerns.
- ⁃ The approach and model is flexible over the 6 week intervention and daily visits will only be carried out primarily where new born babies are being discharged home from hospital. Flexibility is offered to ensure a bespoke package of support is created for individual families in line with Pre-proceedings bottom lines (over and up to 12 weeks) and Child Protection Plans.