Children’s social work teams

Social work for vulnerable children in need, children in need of protection including those subject to Public Law Outline (PLO), is provided through area-based children social work teams. The teams are aligned to four areas of Medway.

This means we work closely with the home community of the family, supporting children to remain within their families. We keep in touch with the family when being looked after is the right decision.

Our area-based teams are led by a team manager with six qualified social workers. One the social workers may be newly qualified. The teams have dedicated administrative support.

Practitioners work with children through child in need and child protection plans. Sometimes this includes care proceedings where the court decides that the children do not need to be separated from their parents immediately.

Social workers have a varied caseload. We work with a variety of children in the social care system and develop a wide range of knowledge and expertise. We ensure that support continues once our work with families is done, through our established partnerships with schools, early help and universal services.

Medway uses use the Signs of Safety model to underpin our work with children and families. The model is used in our child protection conferences.

We use specific models of assessment and intervention for identified needs such as the Graded Care Profile or Parenting Assessments, and Direct Work with Children. Our professional development offer includes training in all these areas and also the practice education of social work students.

Family Group Conferencing (FGC)

We are responsible for coordinating family group meetings, and preparing families and extended family members for meetings. We also support families to develop their own family plan.

Social workers refer to our service when they have concerns that need to be addressed by the family. The FGC coordinator discusses with the family who they would like to invite to the meeting.

Family group meetings are led by the family to make decisions around children or young people within the family. The family will agree a plan and share this with the social worker and FGC coordinator. It is then up to the family to monitor and implement this plan.

Conflict resolution service

This is a confidential service which can be used when parents are in conflict with a young person. It is voluntary and both parties have to want to resolve the issues they have. Our role is to listen to both parties separately. We offer further sessions, if needed, until the parties can come together for a joint meeting where they can make an agreement between themselves which can be written and signed.