The Partnership Integrated Triage pilot was developed with a view to providing a streamlined and robust offer of early help to children and families as a high proportion of all information shared by the Police with Children’s Single point of contact concluded with no further action being taken.
The PIT Stop meeting has been highly effective in embedding the principles and values of the one family approach by ensuring the needs of children and families are met at the lowest level, the earliest stage and by the most appropriate person.
The challenge was to ensure that children and families received the help they needed at the earliest stage, without the need to escalate to children’s social care, whilst ensuring that police information and intelligence provided a direct route into early help for children and communities.
The overall ambition and purpose of the Partnership Integrated Triage pilot (PIT) is to jointly consider police information (that has already been through police decision making processes and determined that partnership triage is required) with a view to identifying potential levels of need and appropriate responses in line with North Lincolnshire’s Helping Children and Families document 20-24, by:
- Ensuring a One Family Approach - Effectively identifying risk/ needs, harm and vulnerability – Ensuring children and families receive the help they need, by the most appropriate person at the lowest level and the earliest stage of a problem arising and protecting our most vulnerable.
- All partners look to themselves for the solution in enabling and empowering children and families.
- Enhancing the partnership link between needs, vulnerability and locality based problem solving to proactively respond to emerging need.
- Ensure holistic information is shared to inform effective decision making without delay.
- Ensure consistent quality of information with an analysis of need.
- Identify themes and emerging trends within communities to enable proactive targeting of resources.
- Long term approach to reduce future risk, needs and vulnerability which in turn builds resilience and reduces demand and cost.
The Partnership Integrated triage jointly consider police information in which the Specialist Police Decision maker has reviewed and determined that partnership triage is required. To maximise the effectiveness of this, the following partnerships are involved:
- Police (To include Neighbourhoods and Communities)
- Children’s single point of contact
- Children’s Integrated Multi Agency partnership (Integrated partners from police, health education and social work completing contact, referrals and assessments)
- Targeted Early Help (Family support, Children’s Centres ,Youth Justice)
- Health (Safeguarding Lead, 0-19 Service)
- Domestic Abuse services
- Drug and Alcohol services
The Partnership triage meeting does not replace the referral processes that are already in place but strengthens these by ensuring children and families receive the most appropriate support aligned to need.
The meeting is chaired by a Specialist Police Decision maker from the police and attended by partners as listed above. Within the meeting, partner agencies will share proportionate and relevant information in line with the memorandum of understanding regarding information sharing, to understand the holistic experience and level of needs for a child and family and ensure the right support can be offered.
Following the sharing of information, the following outcomes should be identified with an agreed rationale recorded on the police records and partners were appropriate:
- No further action
- Universal services and self-help and enablement allocate the relevant response
- Early intervention and targeted help focussed and preventative by a single agency or with multi agency support that can offer the relevant intervention/ support
- Specialist - where the holistic partner information sharing identifies that a child may be in need/ in need of protection and are suffering abuse or neglect as defined by statutory guidance, a referral should be made to the integrated multi agency partnership for needs to be explored within a contact referral.
- Overall PIT stop has been effective in preventing 114 (91.2 per cent) of the 125 children discussed at PIT stop being shared with SPOC/IMAP. This has meant that the needs of of 91 per cent of children and families have been met at the lowest level without escalating to children's social care.
- Of these children there has been only 11 children who were discussed on more than one occasion demonstrating the effectiveness of early help in supporting needs for escalating and preventing any 'revolving door' for children and families.
- The overall contact referrals made by the police have reduced due to the direct access to the most appropriate professional. The inappropriate contacts from the police (those that concluded with no action needed) have reduced from 60-70 per cent to around 30 per cent.
- Ensured a relational approach to working with children and families by ensuring the person who is best placed to undertake the intervention does this.
- There is a shared accountability from all partners to provide help early. Quality and timeliness of the information sharing has been enhanced which has improved the holistic decision making for children and families.
- Sharpened the community response to tackling emerging risk for peer on peer abuse, bullying and online abuse and enabled a targeted response to the locations of concern. This has led to specific interventions being undertaken with schools, community and faith groups and in hotspot locations to build resilience.
- The use of the vulnerability toolkit within these meetings has strengthened the mapping and enabled proactive early intervention and analysis of themes. These themes are considered alongside those identified in MACE and planning implemented across the partnership.
- The use of the vulnerability tracker to map the correlation and interconnectivity with of high risk themes and the early intervention themes to be able to cross refer and feed in to the strategic partnership meetings to provide analysis and proactively target resources to reduce need and provide a holistic overview of vulnerability with in the community.
- The feedback from children and families has demonstrated the difference made to children and families by ensuring help at the earliest stage to prevent need from escalating.
- The maximising of resources reduces cost, prevents duplication, focusses intervention effectively and maximises outcomes for families and the community.
How is the new approach being sustained?
The impact of this approach in improving the outcomes for children, families and communities has been evaluated and presented to the children’s MARS (Multi Agency Resilience and safeguarding) Board. This board has approved this model and this is now mainstreamed into the daily practice of all partners. There is continued review of progress and impact to build upon and develop this model accordingly.
The values and principles underpinning the approach across the whole partnership of children being within their families, their communities and their schools and receiving help at the earliest stage, the lowest level and by the right person is fundamental to difference being made to Children, families and communities by the PITSTOP.
The model is continually reviewed to respond and adapt to need. In the early stages of development it was identified that the model would be strengthened with the inclusion of neighbourhood policing and domestic abuse services to ensure a whole family approach was taken and enable the building of community resilience.
Service Lead - Identification, Assessment and Safeguarding Children