Council transforms social care services to support Hillingdon families

Woman on telephone | Hillingdon Today

Hillingdon Council has launched a pioneering new way of working across its social care services, to enable teams to intervene early and ensure that local families have fast access to a wide range of support services around the clock.

The council has redesigned its offer of early help and prevention for families, and teams will adopt a multi-agency, locality approach to support children at the earliest possible stage by working closely with partners across Hillingdon in services for young people.

A new Stronger Families service will enable teams to engage families earlier and provide long-lasting solutions to ensure a safe, stable and nurturing environment in which children, young people and parents can thrive.

The introduction of a unique Stronger Families ‘hub’ will offer information, advice and support 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The hub is one of the first of its kind and will be a single point of contact for all professionals and residents, with a dedicated email address and phone number and one single online referral form.

Families can now access the vast majority of children’s services via the Stronger Families hub, which may include a concern for a child’s welfare, access to parenting advice and support, or questions regarding special educational needs or education.

Professionals in Hillingdon, including teachers, police and health staff, can also use the hub as a single point of contact for advice and support, which could include reporting concerns for a child’s welfare or requesting a mental health assessment for a resident.

Siobhan Appleton, Designated Nurse, Safeguarding Children and Looked After Children/Care Leavers at NHS Hillingdon CCG, said: “As soon as difficulties arise at any point in a child’s life, early help and intervention can help to improve the child’s experience at home, school and within the local community. This multi-agency, holistic early intervention should be part of a continuum of support to address child and family need, allowing an appropriate and timely response to differing and often changing levels of need.”

Cllr Jane Palmer, Hillingdon Council’s Cabinet Member for Health and Social Care, said: “Early intervention is crucial in supporting families and preventing children from entering the social care system at a later point in life, and we are thrilled that our new contact hub will offer round the clock support to Hillingdon residents.

“Our social care services have undergone an incredible transformation to offer residents and professionals the best possible service at the earliest point of call, and to give local families the support required to become stronger and more resilient.”