Children and Family Services

Children Looked After Notifications

This information sets out the resources and facilities available to Looked after Children and young people, who may be placed in the London Borough of Wandsworth, by other Local Authorities.

It is hoped this information will help your staff to access and understand the diverse range of services and support Wandsworth offers to children residing in the borough.

Notifications

In line with the 2014 amendments to the Care Planning, Placement and Case Review (England) Regulations 2010, if you are planning to place a child or young person in Wandsworth you should consult with us.

Please direct this consultation to Assistant Head of Safeguarding via email to VPendharkar@wandsworth.gov.uk

All Notifications of Looked After children and young people placed in Wandsworth should be sent to lacnotifications@wandworth.gov.uk

You can download form Appendix 1, which should be used to inform Wandsworth of any children who are placed in our Borough by another Local Authority. The form can also be used to inform us of change of address or circumstances of the placed child.

Please download and use the Appendix 2 form when notifying us that the child is leaving the area.

Education

Special Educational Needs and Disabilities

All schools and colleges in Wandsworth have been involved in the preparations for the implementation of the SEND Reforms (Part III of the Children and Families Act 2014).

Wandsworth has a continuum of special educational provision. Children and young people may be educated in mainstream schools with additional support, or they may access one of a number of different types of specialist provision. Wandsworth maintains 7 special schools and there are 12 resource bases attached to mainstream schools which support a range of needs including Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD), Moderate Learning Difficulties and complex needs, Hearing Impairment and Speech, Language and Communication Needs.

Mainstream schools can call on a number of advisory services for instance in relation to hearing / visual impairment; ASD; behaviour and learning and physical disability.

Further information about Wandsworth’s SEN provision can be found on the Local Offer Website

Wandsworth’s Virtual School

The Virtual School is a multi-disciplinary team of nine staff, whose primary task is to support Wandsworth’s Children Looked After to achieve in education  

The Virtual School will keep a Register of children and young people placed in a Wandsworth school by another Local Authority. They will also liaise and assist other Virtual School Headteachers.  

For further information or discussion, please contact Pat Ashworth the Virtual School Head on 0208 871 7348 or email pashworth@wandsworth.gov.uk.

Lifelong Learning

Lifelong Learning is located in Children’s Services. The service offers a rolling Traineeship and Apprenticeship programme with in-takes all year round.  

Apprenticeships are available in the following areas: Business Administration, Health and Social Care, Childcare, Support Teaching and Learning, Facilities Management, Customer Service and Management (levels 3 and 5).

The service works with both employed staff who are eligible for apprenticeships and young people who are new entrants to the labour market.   

The service also offers a traineeship programme. The Traineeship programme is particularly relevant for young people requiring additional support before progressing to their next chosen option.  There is close working with other Council services (Youth, YOT, Virtual School), schools and other relevant partners to ensure recruitment is maximised for courses which start on a bi-monthly basis. There is a maximum intake of 15 young people per course.

Summary of Traineeship programme:

  • aimed at supporting 16-24 years olds into an Apprenticeship/Employment/Further Learning
  • lasts for 8 weeks
  • central to the course is a 3 week work experience placement
  • classroom activities concentrate on Employability skills and Functional Skills - maths and English

Lifelong Learning also delivers  an ambitious work experience programme to approximately 1200 young people per year.

Lifelong Learning has a dedicated Youth Information Advice and Guidance Advisor who works with young people to identify appropriate steps.

0- 25 years old Disability Social Work Team

0-25 years old Disability Social Work Team is a specialist service working with children and young people up to the age of 25yrs and their parents/Carers who have disabilities and live in the Borough of Wandsworth.

The Team offers comprehensive social work support including transition to adulthood, subject to eligibility criteria. The service aims to meet the needs of the Borough’s diverse community. You can find further information on the Family Information Website.

Mental Health

ACCESS Child and Youth Mental Health Service (Tier 2)

ACCESS Child and Youth Mental Health Service is a single point of referral ('One Stop Shop') providing access to help for children and young people in Wandsworth up to the age of 18 years.

The service accepts referrals for all children and young people with a Wandsworth GP who are experiencing mental health difficulties or where an intervention might help improve the emotional well-being of a child or young person. The principles of the ACCESS Service are to offer each child or young person a service which provides earlier intervention and detection of psychological difficulties or emotional distress through conversations with those who know the child or young person best, particularly their families. The service is made up of mental health professionals and aims to be responsive and accessible to families, including meeting with families in community locations or attending meetings at schools.

Referrals are accepted from a variety of sources including, Schools, GPs, Social Workers and School Nurses and the referrals are reviewed on a daily basis. If, after meeting with a family, the service cannot help directly it will lead the way to professionals that can. ACCESS can also provide consultancy to professionals in relation to children and young people with whom they are working.

Wandsworth CAMHS (Tier 3)

This is a multi-disciplinary service providing a specialised service for children and young people with severe, complex and persistent mental health disorders.

This service offers interventions for children and young people up to the age of 18 registered with a Wandsworth GP, their families and/or carers across the borough, focusing on those with severe and enduring mental health problems. CAMHS Team members include child and adolescent psychiatrists, social workers, clinical psychologists, community psychiatric nurses, child psychotherapists and systemic family therapists.

Family Information Service

There are 14 Children’s Centres in Wandsworth and Wandsworth’s Family Information Service (FIS) is a free resource for families with children aged 0 – 19 – up to 25 years for young people with special needs and disabilities.  It provides information on childcare, education family support and activities for children relationships, schools and health service. You can find more information on the Family Information Service website.

Residential Family Assessment Centre

Falcon Grove Family Assessment Centre is rated 'outstanding' by Ofsted and provides residential parenting assessments to families with children in need, or at risk of harm. The majority of the work is under the Public Law Outline, prior to or within court proceedings. The centre is based in Battersea, with good transport links and is staffed 24 hours a day by a team of skilled Social Workers and Family Assessment Workers.  

There are five self-contained flats where families remain resident for 8 to 12 week assessments, receiving some support and intervention to enable change, as part of the process.  

We would be pleased to offer this service to colleagues in other Local Authorities. Further information about referral and charges can be found on the Falcon Grove website.

Health

St George’s University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust serves a population of 1.3 million across southwest London. A large number of services, such as cardiothoracic medicine and surgery, neurosciences and renal transplantation, also cover significant populations from Surrey and Sussex, totalling around 3.5 million people.  With nearly 8,000 dedicated staff caring for patients around the clock, it is the largest healthcare provider in southwest London. 

The main site, St George’s Hospital in Tooting is shared with St George’s, University of London and Kingston University Faculty of Health and Social Care Sciences, training doctors and wide range of healthcare professionals from across the region.

As well as acute hospital services, St George’s provides a wide variety of specialist care and a full range of community services to patients of all ages following integration with Community Services Wandsworth in 2010. 

Youth Support Services

We provide services for all young people aged 11 to 19 and up to 25 if they have a learning difficulty or disability.

The service:

  • Runs 11 youth clubs throughout the borough
  • Offers a wide range of programmes and activities (including holiday activities) 
  • Has targeted programmes to help young people who are at risk of dropping out or on the edge of getting into trouble through their Positive Activities for Young People (PAYP) programme

The service caters for all young people's needs. For example, those who:

  • want to attend a youth club
  • gain an award outside school
  • may be at risk of dropping out of school
  • may be at risk of getting into crime

Services are delivered across three areas covering the whole of Wandsworth, and the area offices are in:

  • Battersea 
  • Tooting (which includes central Wandsworth
  • Roehampton and Putney

Children and young people missing from home and care

Wandsworth Safeguarding Children and Young People’s Board has a Protocol for Young Runaways and Missing Children and Young People which establishes effective multi-agency practice. All Missing Children and Young People are regularly reviewed and monitored and any links to other risks such as at risk or being sexually exploited are clearly identified.

There is a Missing from Home and Care multi-agency sub-group which looks at the missing data in detail and ensures that key partner agencies monitor and promote effective working practices.

When children placed in Wandsworth, by other local authorities, run away, the responsible authority should ensure the independent return interview takes place, working closely with the host authority. It is possible that the child will return to the area of the responsible authority so it is essential that liaison between the police and professionals in both authorities is well managed and co-ordinated.

The local authority has a designated named manager who is responsible for managing and monitoring the implementation of this protocol and is Michele Harris Head of FRP (Family Recovery Project). She can be contacted on 020 8871 5268 or via email at mharris@wandsworth.gov.uk

Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE)

Children and Young People at risk of/being sexually exploited is a key priority for the Safeguarding Board. There is a strong multi-agency operational group in place which receives notifications from a variety of agencies. Young people who are notified are discussed at a monthly meeting, RAG rated and reviewed where appropriate.

Young people placed by other authorities are also discussed and reviewed. All key professionals are encouraged to attend these meetings and in particular the allocated social worker, this invitation would include social workers from other Boroughs and Local Authority’s.

There is a Principal Social Worker who leads on CSE within the MASH (Multi Agency Safeguarding Hub) and screens all referrals and initial assessments. In addition there are a number of services available to children and young people at risk of/ are being sexually exploited:

Barnardo’s CSE Worker

We have a Barnardo’s CSE worker who will work with young people at risk of/or being sexually exploited. Three main aims: preventing immediate harm; helping the young person exit exploitation; and supporting victims in any prosecution of the perpetrator(s).

Each young person will be offered a service for a 6 month period. If the multi agency group agrees that the young person should receive a longer service, then this can be extended.

This is a commissioned service for Wandsworth young people only, children and young people placed by other Authorities would need to commission a service separately.

Vulnerable Young People's Development Worker

Identifying and intensively supporting vulnerable young people in Wandsworth most at risk of teenage conception/sexual ill health, through one to one and group work. Supporting delivery of SRE in and out of school settings and supporting training of professionals – and will work with young people at risk of sexual exploitation.

Youth Advocate for CSE and Gangs

The advocate works with young people, predominantly though not exclusively girls and young women, who are at risk of or have experienced sexual exploitation/sexual violence in relation to youth gangs. This service is offered to all young people in Wandsworth aged 11-19 both within schools and community settings. Young people can expect to receive advocacy and direct and holistic 1:1 support to address risk and safety, access therapeutic services and improve their sense of identity, confidence and self esteem.

The local authority has a designated named manager, Michele Harris. She can be contacted on 020 8871 5268 or via email at mharris@wandsworth.gov.uk.

Safeguarding

The Wandsworth Safeguarding Children Board is the key statutory mechanism for agreeing how the relevant organisations in Wandsworth co-operate to safeguard and promote the welfare of children and young people and for ensuring the effectiveness of what they do.

The role of the Local Authority Designated Officer (LADO)

  • The LADO's key role is to provide advice and guidance to employers and voluntary organisations.
  • Liaise with the police and other agencies, including  Ofsted and professional bodies such as the General Medical Council.
  • Monitor the progress of referrals to ensure they are dealt with as quickly as possible, consistent with a thorough and fair process.
  • To provide oversight of the investigative process through to its conclusion.
  • Chair " Allegations Against Staff and Volunteers" (ASV) Meetings (previously known as  strategy meetings and establish an agreed outcome of the LADO investigation.
  • Facilitate resolution to any inter-agency issues
  • Liaise with other Local Authority LADO's where there are cross boundary issues.
  • Collect strategic data and maintain a confidential database in relation to allegations.
  • Disseminate learning from LADO enquiries through the children's workforce.

Statutory guidance (Working Together to Safeguard Children 2015, London Child Protection Procedures and Keeping Children Safe in Education 2016), places a clear responsibility on organisations to report to the LADO where it is alleged that a member of staff or volunteer who works with a child has:

  • Behaved in a way that has harmed a child, or may have harmed a child;
  • Possibly committed a criminal offence against or related to a child;
  • Behaved towards a child or children in a way that indicates that they may pose a risk of harm to children.

Referrals often do not result in ASV meetings but instead the LADO provides advice and support in relation to the disciplinary process, changes needed to safeguarding policies and procedures or training needs.

The named Local Authority Designated Officer for Wandsworth is Tony Bird, Assistant Head of Safeguarding Standards Service. 

The delegated Local Authority Designated Officer, who deals with all operational aspects, is Chantèl Langenhoven. 

You can contact the LADO by telephone on 020 8871 7440 or email LADO@wandsworth.gov.uk.

Youth Justice – Wandsworth Youth Offending Team

Wandsworth Youth Offending Team (YOT) is part of Wandsworth Education and Social Services department. The YOT is a multi-agency team with members from partner agencies in health, education and the police.  

The service provides both statutory and non-statutory supervision for young people in the youth justice system in line with the National Protocol for Case Responsibility (2014). The non-statutory arm of the Youth Offending Service works with young people who have been given a Pre-Court disposal such as a Youth Caution, Youth Conditional Caution or Triage. The aim of the service is to divert young people away from any further contact with the youth justice system. The young person receives non statutory interventions which focus on the reasons why they have offended.

The statutory side of the service works with young people who have been made subject to community sentences including Referral Orders and Youth Rehabilitation Orders as well as those on bail or who have been remanded into custody. The service also works with young people serving custodial sentences. All young people receive tailored packages of intervention including one to one supervision and group work to address risk factors associated with offending, causing harm to others and their own vulnerability.  Restorative justice is also key to our practice, delivering restorative processes via victim/offender mediation and community reparation.  

The Ending Gangs and Youth Violence (EGYV) team are based within YOT. EGYV deliver one to one and groupwork interventions to young people up to the age of 25 who are at risk or involved in gang behaviour. The EGYV team works closely with the borough police gangs team and annually work with the top 80 local gangs nominal as identified by Gangs Multi Agency Partnership (GMAP)

A duty officer can be contacted on 020 8871 6222 (Monday to Friday 9.00am to 5.00pm) to offer information and advice on youth justice services in Wandsworth

CLICK (Children Living in Care Kouncil)

Wandsworth has CLICK (Children Living in Care Kouncil) is a group of young people in the care of Wandsworth aged 13 to 19. It also has a younger group called Double CLICK that are aged 6 to 12.

This service is provided primarily for Wandsworth children and young people. Although special consideration may be given if there is a young person from another Local Authority in a shared placement with a Wandsworth Looked After Child.

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