Working together to help local families

Published: 03 May 2017

Slough Borough Council is further strengthening its provision of early help for the children, young people and families of Slough by establishing local area collaboratives.

Children, young people and families can experience many different types of challenges, and they can vary in the required levels of support needed, and occur at any stage in their lives.

The purpose of early help is to take action to support a child, young person and their family as soon as a problem arises.

A local area collaborative is a network that brings together a range of local partners to share their collective resources to address local issues.

The council is implementing a local area collaborative model following an assessment of good practice across other local authorities who are improving the provision of early help through effective collaboration with their partners.

Meetings were held at The Curve in February and March to explain and promote the concept of collaboratives to key partners in Slough which resulted in sign up and support from the Slough Children’s Services Trust, police, public health, early years, community safety and youth services.

Working with these partners, four potential local areas for collaboratives have been identified and planning meetings are underway to deliver an initial collaborative by July.

Each local area collaborative will be supported by a senior officer of the council’s children, learning and skills directorate, will have a direct contact in Slough Children’s Services Trust, and access to shared data and knowledge on local need.

Councillor Sabia Hussain, commissioner for education and children’s services, said: “Early help is about getting the right help, at the right time, before problems escalate.

“By working in close collaboration with our schools, nursery providers, children’s centres, health services, family support services and other key partners we can deliver even more effective early help services that support local families and improve outcomes for children and young people.”

She added: “Our local area collaboratives will take account of changes affecting families and services, and will bring the benefits of joint working with the flexibility to adapt and be sustainable.

“The families of Slough are at the heart of everything we do and it’s one of our key priorities to make sure our children and young people have the best start in life and opportunities to give them positive lives.”

The development of the council’s local area collaboratives is being supported by an external consultant with proven experience in implementing collaborative models.