Wiltshire Pathways... helping children & young people get the help they need in Wiltshire.
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Lead member for children's services
Under section 19 of the Children Act 2004, every top tier local authority in England is required to designate a lead member for children's services. The lead member provides political leadership on children's services within the authority and has responsibility for the same set of functions as the director of children's services.
[See also Director of Children's Services]
In some cases, provision of services will be more effective (make a bigger difference for the child) and more efficient (make better use of time and resources) if one worker is identified to take the lead in coordinating the Common Assessment Framework Action Plan.
The responsibilities of the Lead Professional are:
1. To hold a copy of a completed CAF form for the child or young person, including an up-to-date Action Plan (see pg 7 of the CAF form).
2. To help coordinate the provision of services in accordance with the Action Plan
3. To contribute to those services as appropriate
4. To act as a point of contact for the family and for other professionals involved with the family
5. To monitor for any changes in the child?s needs, review and update the Action Plan and provide or refer for additional services if required.
Children and young people needing a Lead Professional are those who require additional (ie non-universal) help from more than one service provider and who need a Lead Professional to ensure that they access this help.
[See "What to do" guide and "What to do" pages of the website.]
People who have a learning disability have difficulties learning and find it particularly hard to understand new and complex information, and to develop new skills. A learning disability is a lifelong condition that is usually present from birth, although it may not become apparent until a child fails to reach particular developmental milestones.
The Children Act 2004 defines learning disability as: 'a state of arrested or incomplete development of mind which induces significant impairment of intelligence and social functioning'. Most people with a leaning disability have only a mild disability that simply means they need more help than most to learn new skills.
Levels of need
There are four levels of need relating to intensity of need and likely required action. (But note that intensity of need is a continuum so that any division into levels is to some extent artificial.)
Level 1 - universal - no additional needs are identified
Level 2 - children, young people & families needing additional help - for most children & young people this additional help will come from a universal service provider. A CAF Assessment will be required, if the child or young person appears to have additional needs that are not being met.
Level 3 - children, young people & families needing intensive assistance - an assessment will be required, if not already completed, and may be coordinated by one of the Area Children & Families Social Care teams or other specialist Area service.
Level 4 - children & young people in crisis and needing urgent intervention - an assessment will normally be coordinated by one of the Area Children & Families Social Care team to decide on an inter-agency response. Child Protection processes may be required.
You can view tables of descriptors that help to identify what level of need a child or young person has.
[See 'What to do' guide and 'What to do' pages of the website.]
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Local Collaborative Partnerships
In each of Wiltshire's 'Community Areas', people who provide services for children & young people are being encouraged to get together in 'Local Collaborative Partnerships' (a) to plan strategically how they can make sure that the right type of help is available when children, young people and their families need it, and (b) support 'team around the child' meetings.
Local Safeguarding Children Board
Local safeguarding children boards are required to coordinate and ensure the effectiveness of local arrangements and services to safeguard and promote the welfare of children.
Wiltshire Local Safeguarding Children Board
This is the term used to describe any child who is in the care of the local authority or who is provided with accommodation by the local authority social services department for a continuous period of more than 24 hours.
The term is not restricted to children in respect of whom a compulsory care order or other court order has been made; for example, it covers also children subject to accommodation under a voluntarily agreed series of short-term placements like short breaks, family link placements or respite care.
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