Working within our teams, across the service, with partners, professionals, families and, of course, the children, we ensure continuous care throughout a young person’s journey through the service. All of our teams are responsible for achieving positive safety and well-being outcomes for children and young people. We apply evidence-based models of help within clear theoretical frameworks.
The Single Point of Contact is a service model that has been introduced across London and in other parts of the country to improve information sharing for children and families, where there are safeguarding concerns, to make decisions about the most appropriate offer of help for a family. It is the “front door” for children’s social care referrals. The SPOC is co-located in Bernard Weatherill House with partners from police, health, education, Early Help, probation, housing and the youth offending service.
Our assessment units undertake single assessments of children and families who meet the threshold for a children’s social care assessment; making initial interventions, and making judgements as to appropriate support plans, including the development of outcomes-based care plans.
The care planning service is made up of social work teams responsible for children subject to child in need and child protection plans and care proceedings (both public and private law). A care proceedings case progression manager sits within this service and supports social workers in their court work. In addition to this, the service includes our private fostering social workers and two targeted teams for vulnerable adolescents.
The Early Help (EH) Service aims to support families to access the right help at the right time as soon as a problem emerges, thereby improving the wellbeing and life chances for Croydon’s children and young people. The Croydon Partnership Early Help offer is delivered on a locality, evidence based model through a shared partnership approach to collectively deliver universal and Early Help services in the North, Central and South of the Borough. The Early Help strategy can be found here.
The Fostering Service supports foster carers and coordinates fostering arrangements, including assessments of family and friends.
Adolescent services consists of the youth offending team, child sexual exploitation (CSE) and missing team, as well as two social work teams for vulnerable adolescents. This newly formed and dynamic service works to protect adolescents, support them to make positive choices and transition successfully into adulthood. Staff within the service work creatively around how best to manage risk and build on the strengths that young people have, focusing on positive outcomes.
Corporate parenting service
Working with care leavers in Croydon is unique and rewarding. We focus strongly on the quality of relationships between our staff and the children, young people and foster carers and adopters. Nearly half of our looked after children are unaccompanied asylum-seeking children which has led us to developing significant expertise and a national profile in this area of work.
We especially focus on the creation and maintenance of permanence for our children and young people.
As a way of ensuring that our social workers have access to advice and practical support, we have a dedicated advisory team of consultant practitioners and specialists, managed by our Principal Social Worker. This team will lead group reflective supervision sessions for teams as well as one-to-one consultations.
They will also work alongside social workers on difficult and complex cases and provide expert advice on areas such as domestic abuse, adult mental health and substance misuse. Our social workers also benefit from bespoke training led by this team.
This team has been put together as a form of extra support for our social workers, helping us ensure that the children, young people and families of Croydon receive the highest level of care.
Children with disabilities
Children with disabilities is a social work service undertaking safeguarding, children in need and care planning for children between the ages of 0-18.
It offers social workers the opportunity to complete direct work with children, and to work in creative ways to ensure that children and young people with complex needs are included in their planning and assessment.
Early help and children’s social care structure
With the UK visas and immigration service (UKVI) located in the borough at Lunar House, we are a gateway for unaccompanied asylum seeking children (UASC). By law, if a child presents in our borough as in need of a service we have to provide that service, regardless of where they are from.
Our social workers have developed expertise in working with these young people, even travelling to Calais when the camp was being removed. They understand their needs and offer advice on specific issues, as well as managing their transfer either on the National Transfer Scheme (NTS) or the Pan London Rota.
Due to our work with UASC we have a special relationship with the Home Office. We have duty staff from Permanence 1 (the service that primarily deals with UASC) based at Lunar House every day. A social worker joining the team would be part of this duty rota and have an opportunity unique to Croydon – developing expertise in areas such as age assessment and asylum and immigration legislation.