Teams and duties

Our teams work together to help ensure all children in Wigan are happy, healthy, and safe.

Although our teams are split into specific specialism areas, all these areas work together and with our partners to support our children and families, using an asset-based approach.

Children's First Partnership Hub (CFPH)

The CFPH is the first point of contact for professionals and members of the public to report concerns for a child. It's a co-located resource comprising of professionals from a range of disciplines and agencies. The team undertake a number of functions, including a Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH) as well as access and signposting to Early Help Services.

Front Door (Duty and Assessment)

The Duty and Assessment Teams provide a response to children who have experienced/or are at risk of significant harm (Section 47) or where there are significant welfare concerns (Section 17). The team are responsible for completing child and family assessments, and/or provide a more immediate response if a child is believed to be at risk of significant harm, following a strategy meeting. If the child requires longer term support, they are allocated a social worker from a locality team.

Complex Safeguarding Team

The Complex Safeguarding Team are a multi-agency team that support young people and their families who are vulnerable or at risk of:

  • Honour based violence and forced marriage
  • Child Sexual Exploitation
  • Serious organised crime and criminal exploitation (County Lines)
  • Modern slavery and trafficking
  • Female Genital Mutilation
  • Radicalisation and extremism.

The team work on a Trusted Relationship model, whereby they work with young people and their families across the continuum of need, either through providing their services directly or through providing consultation and advice to those who already have that relationship with a young person.

Locality / Neighbourhood Teams

Using an asset-based approach, social workers in the locality service work intensively with children in need of support and/or protection, and their families, alongside partners. Their aim is to help the family move from worries or danger to wellbeing or safety.

Relationship building is key in this service, supporting families to identify their own networks and empower them to come up with their own solutions to make positive long-lasting changes. The work of the locality service is varied, and includes working with children subject to child in need plans, child protection plans, pre-proceedings, or care proceedings.

Children in Care Teams

The children in care service work with children who are looked after by the local authority, their carers, their birth families and partner agencies. The service has a clear focus on permanence and supporting children and young people who are transitioning to independence. They strive to develop meaningful relationships, undertake direct work and advocate on behalf of the children to support them to achieve the best possible outcomes.

Leaving Care Team

The leaving care team works with care leavers (aged 16-25) to help them plan and facilitate a smooth transition into adulthood and independence at a rate that is right for their individual need. Personal Advisors work alongside social workers until the young person is 18 and then take over lead responsibility for their pathway plans.

The team works holistically with young people to help plan their future and identify who will be supporting them to achieve aspirations and meet outstanding needs. Personal Advisors maintain regular contact with young people and assist with things such as healthy lifestyles and outcomes, accessing suitable accommodation, education, training and employment, and promoting skills necessary for independent life.

Children with Disabilities Team

The targeted disability service supports children with severe learning or multiple, complex/profound learning disabilities and/or a life threatening, life limiting or terminal condition. The team is made up of social workers and support workers, who work alongside children, families and carers as well as all partner agencies to deliver an assessed package of support, whilst not undermining the family's own strengths and resources.

This service provide a through-care service, which means they undertake assessments with children and families, and work with children subject to child in need plans, child protection plans, pre-proceedings, care proceedings and children who are looked after. The service supports all children from 0-18, assisting children to transition to adulthood, so that they receive a seamless service.

Adoption Team

The Adoption Team works with children who cannot live with their parents and adoption is deemed to be the best plan of permanence for them. In this team, the adoption social workers find families for children who have been granted a Placement Order by the Court because they cannot live safely with their parents or anyone else in their family.

Start Well Service (Early Help)

The Start Well Service comprises 3 locality teams and provides support for children and young people aged 0-19 and their families, whose needs have been assessed as in line with Level 3 of the threshold of need. This support includes parenting advice and guidance, practical help and support for a wide range of challenges, including:

  • Education and learning
  • Teenage pregnancy
  • Unemployment
  • Emotional and behavioural development
  • Social isolation
  • Behaviours which are difficult to manage
  • Drugs and alcohol use
  • Housing.

Targeted Youth Support Service (TYSS)

TYSS has a number of responsibilities when working with children:

  • Youth Justice - support children to prevent offending or when they have entered the criminal justice system. This includes working with the child, their families, the victims of the crime and with partners to safeguard, manage risk and support restorative outcomes
  • Community Deal - working with targeted young people who are maybe feeling isolated, and facilitating youth voice groups, Youth Cabinet, Global Friends, BYOU and girl groups
  • Anti-Social Behaviour (ASB) - adopting a youth work approach to ASB in the borough to support communities and offer education and activities to children.

Fostering Service

There are currently three teams within our fostering service:

  • Recruitment and assessment - This team is responsible for the promotion and awareness raising, and recruitment and assessment of prospective foster carers, supported lodging hosts and the training programme available for foster carers
  • Friends and Family Assessment and Support Team (FFAST) - This team is responsible for completing all the viability assessments as well as full assessments, and supporting and supervising friend and family households
  • Fostering supervisor and support team - This team are responsible for the supervision and support of our fostering household, finding the right homes for our children who might not be able to stay with their family and ongoing training of our foster carers.

Quality Assurance and Practice Development Unit

This service has responsibility for the following areas:

  • Complaints Service - This team helps the service to investigate and respond to complaints, and uses learning from complaints to help our practitioners deliver the best possible service to children and their families
  • Workforce Development - This includes our Principal Social Worker role and the lead for Assessed and Supported Year in Employment (ASYE) and delivers our workforce strategy, with the aim of having a stable workforce who have access to a range of development opportunities, can progress their careers in Wigan, and work in a learning environment in which good social work can flourish
  • Quality Assurance - Providing a line of sight into practice through audit activity, this team shares the learning from audits with the service to help them understand what is working well, and where practice might need to improve, via practice improvement sessions, group activities and learning events. This element includes the Court Progression Officer, a recent post which will ensure that our children subject to pre-proceedings and care proceedings are afforded a timely service and will support the workforce to make evidence-based decisions about permanence for children at the earliest possible opportunity.

Independent Safeguarding and Partnership Unit

This service provides assurance around the quality of practice across Children’s Social Care. It consists of a range of roles including:

  • Independent Reviewing Officers and Child Protection Conference Chairs who oversee the plans for all looked after children, care leavers and those children subject to a child protection plan. Child Protection Chairs and Independent Reviewing Officers act as critical friends for social workers and team managers, ensuring that each child has the best possible plan for them
  • Designated Officer (previously LADO), responsible for the oversight of allegations against professionals
  • Wigan Safeguarding Children’s Partnership business team lead on strategic safeguarding and partnership work
  • Child and family workers and Business Support Service, who support all of our social care teams.

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