Integrated working enables everyone supporting children and young people to work together effectively to put the child at the centre, meet their needs and improve their lives.
By combining their professional expertise, knowledge and skills, and involving the child or young person and family throughout, practitioners can identify needs earlier, deliver a co-ordinated package of support that is centred on the child or young person, and help to secure better outcomes for them.
Integrated working is achieved through collaboration and coordination at all levels, across all services, in both single and multi-agency settings. It requires clear and ongoing leadership and management. At an operational level, it is facilitated by the adoption of common service delivery models, tools and processes.
Integrated processes 'drive’ multi-agency working and support the delivery of integrated frontline services.
Key integrated processes include:
Better information sharing between professionals: appropriate information sharing underpins all integrated processes.
Early Health Assessment
The Early Help Assessment is an assessment and planning tool to help identify and address the needs of children, young people and families at risk of poor outcome in a timely and coordinated way. The multi-agency nature of the tool improves involvement between agencies and reduces duplication of assessment.
The role of the lead professional
This is a role taken on by one of the professionals working with a child in order to:
act as a single point of contact that children, young people and their families can trust, and who is able to support them in making choices and in navigating their way through the system;
ensure that children and families get appropriate interventions when needed, which are well planned, regularly reviewed and effectively delivered;
reduce overlap and inconsistency when more than one practitioner is working with a child.
The team around the child (TAC)
A 'Team Around the Child' is a group of people who are providing support who will work together to ensure all the needs are met in a co-ordinated manner.