Achieving for Children is a Partner in Practice – click here for more information
Adolescents, with complex social care needs, are at a particularly high risk of poor outcomes, with families’ resistant to traditional approaches to social work. Traditional interventions are largely ineffectual in engaging, and supporting, challenging adolescents and their families. These interventions lack the flexibility needed to respond to the often disruptive lifestyles of young people, and often place families in unfamiliar environments, making them increasingly likely to disengage from care.
We enacted a range of innovations to better support groups of adolescents across Richmond and Kingston-upon-Thames. The project looked to migrate young people in out-of-borough residential care back to local foster carers, called ‘Innovation Mentors’ trained in ‘Better By Design’ (BBD), via a short stay residential setting where they worked with specially trained ‘Innovation Family Workers’, also trained in BBD. The Innovation Family Workers also worked with young people on the edge of care with the aim of preventing escalation to being taken into care. Finally, a longer planning period enabled systems to be better integrated, with a ‘drip-feed’ approach working to slowly build and develop the system.
Royal Borough of Kingston upon Thames
London Borough of Richmond upon Thames
University of Birmingham