Young people may come across multiple services in their journey to adulthood. Some of these will work in partnership with each other, while some will provide a standalone service.
A local authority’s children’s service may come into contact with young people and their families at a time when the family is in need because the child or young person is:
Children’s services are able to work with young people and families who contact them (although resources may mean that not all families can be supported immediately) to give advice, assistance and signposting, and to help plan for the longer term.
Children’s services can also become involved in child protection cases, and may involve other professionals such as doctors, health visitors and teachers in assessing what is best for the child/young person in question.
It may be necessary in some cases for children to be cared for away from home.
Children’s services will usually also be responsible for corporate parenting responsibilities ie fostering, adoption and arranging residential care.
Children’s services may also be responsible for youth advice and support and the Youth Offending Service.
This service works with families and young people aged 10 to 18, to try to prevent the young person from breaking the law, and from re-offending. It will usually also work to support the victims of youth crime.
It is a multi-agency service, and will include representatives from police, probation, health, education, children and young people’s service, training and employment, and housing services.
The youth justice system in England and Wales is overseen by the Youth Justice Board.
More information on youth offending teams is available from Gov.uk.
The Supporting Troubled Families Programme was launched in April 2012 and will run to 2020.
Troubled families are defined as those who:
The aim of the programme is for a coordinated group of local teams and agencies to respond quickly when a child or family needs support, helping them to access services that will have the maximum impact. The family’s issues will be targeted holistically, rather than as different individual problems.
More information on the Troubled Families Programme is available from Gov.uk.
The education service will be responsible for some or all of the following:
In some local authorities, the education service will be part of children’s services, and can also be known as education and social work.
Multi-agency working ( also known as integrated, multidisciplinary or interdisciplinary working) brings together practitioners from different local authority departments, community sectors and professions to work together to put children, young people and their families at the centre of decision making, in order to better identify and meet their needs and improve their lives.