Troubled Families programme

1. Does the work of your Troubled Families programme(s) include help for parents to work through difficulties in their couple relationships as well as with their parenting skills? If yes, please describe in as much detail as possible what work is typically done with couples.

2. Do you use any specific programmes and/or refer to external agencies e.g. Relate, or is help delivered directly by keyworkers working within the Troubled Families programme?

3. Do you provide any Children and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS)? If yes:

a. Do your CAMHS workers routinely collect information on the background circumstances of children and young people presenting with mental health services in particular with regard to exposure to intense, unresolved and frequent parental conflict (violent and non-violent) or experience of the breakdown of their parents’ relationship, and if so, how?

b. When and if negative family circumstances such as parental conflict and relationship breakdown are considered to be implicated in their children’s mental health problems, are parents i) seen by the services treating the child or young person and/or ii) routinely referred to other services such as Relate?

c. If the answer to either part of 3.b is yes, how many parents have been seen in CAMHS or referred to other services in the last year?

Early help Services providing support through the troubled families programme in Devon, use a whole family approach when supporting families. Where a whole family Early Help Assessment is undertaken and if parental relationship difficulties are identified support can be provided and offered in a number of ways including:

Key worker / Lead Practitioner /Agency Practitioner (Example; Family Interventions Worker), with appropriate training and experience can offer low level basic mediation support if appropriate as part of their family support offer.

The Team Around the Family (Previously Team Around the Child) model provides parents, their children and support practitioners to meet in a safe and co-ordinated way to recognise the strengths within a family unit and where need or concerns is identified (including parental relationship breakdown) agreeing clear outcomes focused actions for positive change that may include referrals as appropriate to mediation services and parenting programmes.

Mediation support can also be offered and accessed through a referral into the Family Solution Service (Family Group Conferencing) that offer a range of Strengths Based interventions supporting families to find their own solutions to repairing fractured relationships, working together differently in the best interests of their children and fully explore the potential family strengths within the family and friends networks before service providers do this FOR them. This includes smaller meetings based around restorative practice principles and mediated meetings all of which are aimed at achieving positive change.

More specialist supports agencies to which referrals are made include South West Mediation and Devon Mediation Service. We also sign-posting where applicable to Relate in regards to relationships counselling and we have occasionally supported this with locality funding. These referrals can be made by any practitioner with parental consent. Access to these services may also be an outcome of taking legal advice

Access to evidence based parenting programmes for parents is a key offer across services, including commissioned services, in Devon and supports parents to develop their parenting skills and capacity. These programmes currently include: Strengthening Families Programmes, Parenting Plus Adolescent Programme, IY 0 – 1yrs, 3 – 5yrs, Attachment and Relationship training, Here’s looking at you Bump. Great Expectations and Mellow Parenting.

CAMHS services are provided by Virgin Care Ltd and commissioned jointly between the CCG and the LA. We can request this information or a direct contact can be made by the requestor.

Devon Child Adolescent and Mental Health Service (CAMHS) (Evergreen House)


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