The Kintyre area of Argyll and Bute has been testing through the Early Years Collaborative a new Family Pathway which entails regularly assessing a child’s needs from pre-birth to age five. This involves joint working between families and midwives, health visitors, nursery staff, primary schools and other community services. It enables early identification of, and timely responses to, the needs of children and families so that they receive the right support at the right time. The Family Pathway is effectively Getting it right for every child in action linking the Named Person to the next Named Person – Health Visitor to Teacher, depending on the age of the child.
Improvement highlights included the development, with pregnant women, of an assets based Wellbeing Indicator Tool. This enables midwifes to identify early on, vulnerable pregnant women and put in place appropriate supports to help them throughout their pregnancy and after birth. This was tested and measured at different stages and the midwives learned that the most effective support could be delivered if the tool was completed at a midwifery home visit, when mum was around 16 weeks pregnant. One new mum said: “At first I didn’t want to fill in the tool. I just thought the midwife was prying into my business. I gave it a go and found the tool really helpful. I didn’t know I could get Healthy Start Vouchers and the midwife helped sort it all with me.”
Improving Joined Up Working
The improvement testing is showing that there is now better joint working between the relevant professionals within areas tested and that services are becoming more person-centred and accessible to families. Using the shared language of GIRFEC with all parents and, through an assets based approach to ensure children’s needs were continuously assessed, resulted in 85 per cent of children achieving their developmental milestones at the start of Primary One in one area of Argyll and Bute (August 2015).
This joined up approach has been successful in building the confidence of parents, helping them to better understand the key elements of children’s development and learning. It is also showing that staff feel more engaged and empowered in their work with children and families. This work is now being scaled up to meet the needs of another area of Argyll and Bute. They expect that there will be further evidence of children’s needs being identified and responded to at the earliest opportunity as the new Family Pathway spreads across the whole CPP.
Getting it right for every child
This work is an example of how CPPs are responding to the Children and Young People (Scotland) Act 2014 and the key principles of Getting it right for every child where agencies must work together to ensure children’s wellbeing.
Read about Katie’s early years journey on the Argyll and Bute Family Pathway.