Children's social care teams
Our department aims to make sure that children and young people in Bracknell Forest achieve the best possible outcomes for their lives through education, advice and guidance and access to support.
The following teams make up children's social care in Bracknell Forest:
Referral and Assessment Team
This team is the front door to Children’s Social Care Services, providing advice and information to the public and professionals.
They undertake assessments when the child and family appear to need support. If a contact or referral to the team does not meet the threshold for social work assessment, it is signposted to appropriate services or other early help resources.
If further intervention is required following an assessment, the family are allocated a social worker from one of the long term teams: Under 11's, Over 11's or Children's Specialist Support Team.
Family Safeguarding Under 11's Team
The Under 11’s team works with vulnerable children and their families to make sure they are safeguarded. They have a particular focus upon those children who are subject to Child Protection Plans or Care Proceedings, as well as working with a significant number of Child in Need cases.
Family Safeguarding Over 11’s Team
The Over 11’s team works with young people and their families assessing help and support as needed and provides appropriate services. This includes working with Children in Need, Child Protection and Looked After Children.
Both the Under 11’s and Over 11’s teams have close working relationships with our Legal Department, Independent Reviewing and Child Protection Coordinator Service and multi-agency partners.
Children’s Specialist Support Team
The Children’s Specialist Support Team work with children who have a chronic, permanent and substantial disability from birth, acquired in childhood or as a result of an accident.
They offer a range of flexible services which help to maintain a good quality of life for the child as an active member of the family, working in partnership with health and voluntary organisations to offer families appropriate services to meet their individual needs. They include the Short Breaks Services for Disabled Children.
Leaving Care Team
The Leaving Care team provides support to Looked After Children from the ages of 15 1/2 years and acts in the capacity of personal advisor until the age of 21 years and provides support in terms of:
- pathway planning
- training and employment
- health needs
- acts as a concerned involved parent
The Local Authority provides support until the young person reaches 25 years, if they remain in education or training.
Family Placement Team
The Family Placement Team provide the full range of family placement services, including:
- relief care
- supported lodgings
- connected persons fostering
- permanent care
- assessing private fostering arrangements
- the short break scheme for disabled children
The team is also responsible for all aspects of placement finding for planned and unplanned needs.
This is a short break care unit, providing respite care for children and young people who have learning difficulties and disabilities.
The unit is registered for children and young people aged between 5 to 18 years, however the majority are aged over 10.
Youth offending service
The youth offending service is made up of professionals from a variety of agencies. The team includes a:
- social worker
- police officer
- health worker
- education specialist
- training and employment worker
- substance misuse worker
- case managers
- parenting worker
- restorative justice coordinator
It provides services for young people aged 10 to 17 who have offended and are sentenced by the Youth or Crown Court, to be supervised in line with the conditions of their Youth Justice Court Orders. The service is provided with due regard for the victims of these offences.
Life Chances Team
The life chances team is a virtual, interagency team working with Looked After Children and those on the edge of care.
The team use a method of effectively using the time of the professionals involved to understand and put into place solution focused plans and actions to address any current or potential difficulties that could impede the progress of the child or young person.
The overall aim of the team is to improve outcomes of children and young people in preparation for adulthood in the areas of accommodation needs, health care and educational achievement.
Bracknell Forest MASH
Bracknell Forest MASH is the single point of contact for all safeguarding concerns around children and young people living in Bracknell. The MASH brings together a team of professionals from a number of partner agencies to deal with all safeguarding concerns for a child or young person.
Within the MASH, information from partner agencies will be collated to assess risk and decide what action to take. As a result, the agencies will be able to act quickly, in a co-ordinated and consistent way, making sure that vulnerable children and families are kept safe and supported.
The partner agencies include:
- children's social care (including children with disabilities)
- youth offending service
- early Intervention
- Berkshire Women's Aid
- drug and alcohol action team
All partners have signed up to an Information Sharing Agreement that specifies what data can be shared within the MASH, and what happens to that data once a decision is made about the case.