Children's social care teams

Our department aims to ensure that children and young people in Bracknell Forest achieve the best possible outcomes for their lives through education, advice and guidance and access to support.

The teams within Children's Social Care consist of:

Referral and Assessment Team

This team is the front door to Children’s Social Care Services, providing advice and information to the public and professionals and undertaking assessments when the child and family appear to need support. If a contact or referral to the team does not meet the threshold for social work assessment, it is signposted to appropriate services or other early help resources. Following an assessment if further intervention is required the family are allocated a social worker from one of the long term teams, Under 11's, Over 11's or Children's Specialist Support Team.

Under 11's team

The Under 11’s Team works with vulnerable children and their families to ensure they are safeguarded and has a particular focus upon those children who are subject to Child Protection Plans or Care Proceedings, as well as working with a significant number of Child in Need cases.

Over 11’s Team

The Over 11’s Team works with young people and their families assessing help and support as needed and provides appropriate services. This includes working with Children in Need, Child Protection and Looked After Children.

Both the Under 11’s and Over 11’s Teams have close working relationships with our Legal Department, Independent Reviewing and Child Protection Coordinator Service and multi-agency partners.

Children’s Specialist Support Team

The Children’s Specialist Support Team work with children who have a chronic, permanent and substantial disability from birth, acquired in childhood or as a result of an accident. They offer a range of flexible services which help to maintain a good quality of life for the child as an active member of the family working in partnership with health and voluntary organisations to offer families appropriate services to meet their individual needs. They include the Short Breaks Services for Disabled Children.

Leaving Care Team

The Leaving Care Team provides support to Looked After Children from the ages of 15 1/2 years and acts in the capacity of personal advisor until the age of 21 years and provides support in terms of pathway planning, accommodation, training and employment, health needs and acts as a concerned involved parent. The Local Authority provides support until the young person reaches 25 years, if they remain in education or training.

Family Placement Team

The Family Placement Team provide the full range of family placement services, including fostering, adoption, relief care, supported lodgings, connected persons fostering and permanent care, assessing private fostering arrangements and the short break scheme for disabled children. The team is also responsible for all aspects of placement finding for planned and unplanned needs.

Larchwood

This is a short break care unit, providing respite care for children/young people who have learning difficulties and disabilities. The unit is registered for children and young people aged between 5-18 years; however the majority are aged 10+.

Youth Offending Service

The Youth Offending Service (YOS) is made up of professionals from a variety of agencies. The team includes a social worker, police officer, health worker, education specialist, training & employment worker, substance misuse worker, case managers, parenting worker and restorative justice coordinator. It provides services for young people aged 10 to 17 who have offended and are sentenced by the Youth or Crown Court, to be supervised in accordance with the conditions of their Youth Justice Court Orders. The service is provided with due regard for the victims of these offences.

Life Chances Team

The Life Chances Team is a virtual, interagency team working with Looked After Children and those on the edge of care. The team use a method of effectively using the time of the professionals involved to understand and put into place solution focused plans and actions to address any current or potential difficulties that could impede the progress of the child or young person. The overall aim of the team is to improve outcomes of children and young people in preparation for adulthood in the areas of accommodation needs, health care and educational achievement.

Bracknell Forest MASH

Bracknell Forest MASH is the single point of contact for all safeguarding concerns regarding children and young people living in Bracknell. The MASH brings together a team of professionals from a number of partner agencies to deal with all safeguarding concerns for a child/young person.

Within the MASH, information from partner agencies will be collated to assess risk and decide what action to take. As a result, the agencies will be able to act quickly, in a co-ordinated and consistent way, ensuring that vulnerable children and families are kept safe and supported.

The partner agencies include: Children's Social Care (including children with disabilities), Police, Health, Education, Youth Offending Service; Probation, Early Intervention, Housing, Berkshire Women's Aid and DAAT.

All partners have signed up to an Information Sharing Agreement that specifies what data can be shared within the MASH, and what happens to that data once a decision is made about the case.