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Helping children, young people and their families thrive

Family Support Practitioner

Family Practitioner

JOB DESCRIPTION 

Family Support was established by Hammersmith and Fulham Council in April 2018 as a Local Authority Trading Company with the mission of supporting local families to give their children the best start in life.

Family Support is a collaborative and community-focused service providing proactive, integrated and innovative preventative support to families most in need. The Family Support Service will aim to have a positive long-term impact on families’ futures, reducing demand for statutory care services, and operating as a financially sustainable organisation.

We believe that fostering loving and caring relationships between a child and their care givers during early life is the key determinant to maximising their chances of good physical, mental and emotional health as well as fulfilling their potential. These relationships are fundamental to the healthy development of a child’s brain and providing the right environment will help children build a healthy ‘brain architecture’ and the foundations for success in life.

We know that the value of supportive relationships to the development of a healthy brain architecture extends into early adulthood.

We understand that all adults around a child have a role to play in promoting healthy brain / mental development; this includes parents, guardians and neighbours but also extends to our own practitioners.

We also appreciate that in reality, family life is ‘messy’; family circumstances are often complicated and the challenges families face puts pressure on their time and energy. Parents generally welcome support that helps them also prioritise behaviour that benefits their children.  But they want to experience a coherent and cohesive offer of support that doesn’t involve multiple, separate interactions with different people.

The organisation will operate out of three ‘localities’ covering different geographical areas of the borough (North, Central and South), with sets of multidisciplinary teams that provide support to vulnerable families in partnership with practitioners from other agencies as required.

DESCRIPTION OF DUTIES:

Leadership within the team

Although the post holder won’t have any direct responsibilities / accountabilities for managing a team, they will be expected to model the values, behaviours, and practices of the organisation and act as an example to colleagues.

Contribution to a practice

Contribute to development and maintenance of a virtual practice in [Education / Family Support / Health] across the whole of the organisation. This entails working under the supervision of the Locality Manager leading the practice, and collaborating with colleagues to build up and maintain a set of resources and network of experts that colleagues across the organisation can draw upon for advice and guidance when supporting families.

Alongside practice development they will be expected to share their knowledge and experience with all colleagues across the organisation, as part of their day-to-day work.

Front-line service delivery

Manage a caseload of client families, acting as their first point of contact on behalf of Family Support. Support can take place in the family home, in the children’s centres and in the local community, and at any time during the week, according to the needs of the family.

The support can include, but is not restricted to, families who:

  • Have no family network or have newly moved into the area, including families who have no recourse to public funds
  • Find themselves in unexpected circumstances such as bereavement, family illness or family separation
  • Face family crises, such as food poverty, financial or housing problems
  • Have a mother is suffering from post-natal depression or low mood, or where there is poor or disorganised attachment
  • Have a child or parent with a disability or special educational need, or mental health need
  • Have young parent, lone parent or father who is deemed vulnerable
  • Have a domestic violence, drug or alcohol abuse issue and/or other significant / serious issues affecting children’s lives
  • Need support or guidance in parenting, dealing with children’s challenging behaviour or coping with family life

Work with practitioners from other agencies (such as health, police, and schools) and voluntary groups to provide integrated preventative health and social care services with other organisations so that vulnerable families receive consistent, coordinated support that is centred around their needs.

To complete 1:1 support plan (and/or other agreed Outcomes) to establish a baseline, agree outcomes with family, and review and track progress against agreed outcomes regularly.  

To ensure that the voices of children, young people and parents / guardians are sought, heard and represented appropriately. Make sure any child or parental feedback is logged, families tracked to ensure outcomes are sustained, and relevant evidence of impact given to the line manager.

Complete any case notes and service plans for each family in a timely manner in the appropriate system or repository, in line with the Family Support policies and procedures around information management.

To work to the highest possible quality standards of service at all times in accordance with Family Support policies and procedures. This includes but is not restricted to:

  • Following good practice guidelines for working with vulnerable children and families in a safe and professional manner
  • Ensuring that all support given to the mother, father or carer keeps the needs of the child/children at the centre of the support at all times
  • Working in genuine partnership with families to empower them to make positive changes and develop strategies for improving their current situation and tackling difficulties appropriately in the future

Contribute to wider leadership of the organisation

Family Support aims empower its staff be creative in finding the right support for families and children. The post holder is expected to act with a high degree of autonomy, and foster a culture which promotes this amongst the wider workforce.

The post holder may be called on occasionally by the Senior Management Team to provide specific contributions that support the leadership of the organisation.

The above list is not exhaustive, and the Family Practitioner will be expected to work flexibly to meet all additional activities commensurate with the role.

In addition to the duties above, the post holder also has the following corporate responsibilities

Civil and Other Emergencies

To support the Family Support’s role in planning for and responding to civil and Family Support emergencies using skills/expertise of the post holder, and in accordance with Family Support emergency procedures. To provide emergency contact details for the purposes of emergency and service continuity plans.

Information Management

To comply with information rights legislation and the Family Support’s data quality standards by applying information management related policies.

To report instances of non-compliance, errors, omissions or inadequacies in procedures to the business unit manager.

Equal Opportunities

To know and adhere to the Family Support’s equal opportunities policy and equalities legislation and implement in relation to job responsibilities in employment and service delivery.            

Health and Safety

To take reasonable care for his/her own health and safety and any other person(s) who may be affected by his/her acts or omissions at work, in accordance with the Health & Safety legislation.

To co-operate with the Family Support insofar as is necessary to enable it to comply with its duties under relevant health and safety legislation.

Safeguarding

To be aware of and work in accordance with the Family Support’s Safeguarding policies and procedures to safeguard and promote the welfare of children and adults and to raise any concerns relating to such procedures which may be noted during the course of duty.

Please complete application form attached and return to Wendy.Dormer@family-support.org.uk