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More about Information, Advice & Assistance (I,A&A)

More about how we provide information, advice and assistance to parents, children and families.

Other sources of information and support

Anyone can get help from professionals such as GP's and other health professionals, schools or community services or places that can support with housing, benefits, local service provision, community resources, substance misuse among others. Some helpful organisations are:

  • Contact Centre in Swansea 01792636000 (housing, benefits, council tax)
  • Family Information Service 01792 517222
  • Info Nation - 01792 484010
  • One Stop Shop - women's centre and domestic abuse  - 01792 411 119

Find out more about other sources of information and support in Swansea....

Giving you Information, Advice and Assistance

Anyone can contact the Child and Family Information, Advice and Assistance (I,A&A) service to have a discussion and get help. A qualified social worker will listen to you and let you know what information, advice or assistance can be provided and who can help from social services, health, youth offending service, education, police, early intervention and prevention services and the third sector. How much we can talk to you about a specific child will depend on the reason for your call and the circumstances.

  • Information - Providing Data - Signposting to Leaflets, websites, CAB, telephone lines, support groups, one stop shops.
  • Advice Exploring options with the person - Telephone lines, walk in, email, step up ,meetings, start of assessment
  • Assistance - Taking action with the person - Making referrals to services, completing forms, advocating for people, coordinating universal and prevention support.

Information

We can provide information about universal, community and preventative support services to help people make informed choices about their well-being. You do not have to give the personal details of the child and family to get information.

Advice

If children and families have particular needs we can start an assessment by having a 'What Matters' discussion using five elements which are:

  • The personal circumstances of the children, young person and family
  • Any harm that has happened to the child or any worries
  • The goals/outcomes that the parents would like to see for their child
  • Strengths and safety
  • Barriers to achieving the goals/ outcomes for the child.

This discussion will be helpful for families and/or professionals to think about how to improve their situation. This can be had over the telephone or face to face in the Contact Centre or by any other way that is agreed as being appropriate. A social worker may not see a child as part of this discussion but the child may be seen by another worker such as teacher, health visitor or someone else supporting the family.

We can help to explore options that may come from friends and family, professionals or any other early intervention and prevention services. We will need the basic details of the children or young people and their families. With parents/carers agreement we may have conversations with other professionals that know the family. Also we will put the advice given in a letter to parents/carers and agreed professionals confirming what has been decided.

Assistance

 

Assistance follows information and advice and this is where a person takes action with a family to help them or to access support services for children, young people or families on their behalf. With parents/carers consent then I,A&A can make a referral directly to a service on the behalf of the family or arrange for a meeting so the appropriate support can be identified.

If after the provision of advice and assistance it still appears that a child has needs that cannot be met by family, friends, universal or early intervention and prevention services, then a social worker will visit to continue the assessment, see the child and relevant people. A decision will be made with families on whether support from social services is needed or what other help is available.

Parents/carers of disabled children and young people are presumed to have needs for care and support in addition to or instead of the care and support provided by the child's family. We will start an assessment to give advice and assistance to discuss needs and support available. In some cases this will continue and the assessment will become more detailed to determine eligible needs for a care and support plan.

A social worker may visit if:

  • A child/ren has a high level of care and support needs that may need a plan.
  • Where there are safeguarding concerns information about any children involved will be passed to statutory services immediately and without delay.

Gaining consent to discuss children and young people with I,A&A

To support and protect children and families then different agencies need to share information to intervene early. It is essential when putting in place effective child protection arrangements. Children and families have the right to expect people to be open and honest with them, particularly if there are worries or help is needed. Any child who is staying in the Swansea area can be discussed with social services whether they live permanently in the locality or not.

  • If you are a professional and want to have a discussion about a child or young person then you must get consent from the child/ren's parents or carers. I,A&A will always speak to parents/carers for children and young people under the age of 16 years.
  • If you have a child protection concern then you may not need to get consent however it is always best practice to do so. If you are a professional and are worried that asking for consent may put a child or young person at risk you can have a discussion about next steps with your safeguarding lead or staff from the I,A&A Team.
  • All professionals have a safeguarding lead that they can get advice on prior to contacting I,A&A if needed.
  • If you contact I,A&A and do not have consent then talk to us about your worries without sharing basic information about the child and we can help work out next steps together
  • If it is a child protection concern, a social worker may still ask professionals to help speak to children, young people and families because parents/carers often find it easier to talk to professionals they know.

 

 

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