The Family Intervention Service (FIS) is a specialist county-wide service developed through the joining of established Team 8 and getset level 3 services. It offers support to children and young people aged 0 to 18 years and their families (where needs are present at level 3 and level 4 of the Effective Support for Children and Families in Somerset guidance). The aim of combining these two services is to prevent overlap or confusion over roles and responsibilities, with a clearly defined service specification for our families, communities and partners.
The service will provide increased flexibility over operating hours and aid co-ordination by operating between 7am to 10pm, including a duty service for over 10s in crisis after 5pm and at weekends. Rapid Response service operates between 10pm and 7am, Friday through to Monday and is generally an EDT call out service.
There are two Family Intervention teams in each of the four district council areas a total of 8 teams. They will work closely together with partners and communities to provide effective support for families experiencing complex issues with a better, more focussed use of the Council’s resources in meeting family needs.
The service objectives are to:
- Deliver a bespoke intervention package to children, young people and their families with complex needs.
- Reduce the number of adolescents, children and families requiring a statutory children’s social care service.
- Support adolescents, children and their families when stepping down from children’s social care and prevent re-escalation.
- Reduce the number of young people entering the care system, supporting them to remain safely at home with their family network.
- Support foster carers and work alongside social workers and care providers for young people in care to stabilise and maintain their provision and prevent placement breakdown.
- Support the successful reintegration of young people who return to their families and homes following a care episode.
- Reduce the number of young people involved in substance misuse, crime and anti-social behaviour.
- Support young people who are not in education, training or employment and improve school attendance, aspirations and outcomes.
- Support young people to stay safe.
- Support families to reduce and eliminate abusive episodes.
- Support young people who go missing to keep them safe and promote positive outcomes to prevent further missing episodes.
- Support young people who have caring responsibilities towards a family member via Somerset’s Young Carers Service.
- Reduce youth homelessness through mediation with young people and their families alongside the Pathway to Independence service (P2i) for young people aged 16 to 25.
FIS will only work with families where informed consent has been gained. Practitioners will be open and honest with families about why it is important to share information, who with and how it can help support meeting the needs of a family to effect the change they have identified.
The target groups are families experiencing complex needs where at least two of the Level 3 indicators, or similar, are evidenced. The team may work with families where an individual over 18 has Special Educational Needs, is at risk of homelessness or where younger children are in the home subject to team capacity and local managerial agreement.
Partners should make requests for consideration of a service through the Early Help Hub using the Early Help Assessment (EHA) indicating they are requesting consideration of a level 3 service.
At Level 4, a planned, intensive, and individualised intervention of up to 12 weeks with the option to extend up to 24 weeks alongside and in partnership with CSC. This can be a planned package of support for a young person aged 10 -18 years or shorter intervention to help stabilise a crisis whilst the lead professional carries out assessments to identify longer term planning and intervention. For children under 10 – the social worker will need to establish the specific needs for a FIS service and discuss this with their line manager and Operations Manager for agreement.
Social Workers need to complete a ‘Referral to Family Intervention Service’ form and a young person’s risk assessment on LCS once a request for a planned intervention has been agreed by the area FIS Team Leader. The referral form needs to be authorised by the Social Worker’s Team Manager.
As a level 4 service, CSC are case holders for the family intervention work with FIS being a complimentary involvement. FIS workers will work closely with social workers to establish the best outcomes for the families we work with. Out of hours work should be referred daily only when normal social work practice has been exhausted on that day or needs complimentary input by a FIW.
Rapid Response work will be referred directly from the Emergency Duty Team (EDT) to the workers when needed. This work can be discussed with the CSC On-Call Manager at the time and escalated if not appropriate or the worker has concerns.
Service Criteria to include in the EHA:
Please ensure you complete the EHA in full, no additional information is required to make a request for support.
Please use the drop-down menu to select “Family Intervention Service (FIS) for 0 – 18”.