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CWDC News - December 2011

Integrated working: a legacy

The prime minister has set out more details of a new initiative to address the needs of our 120,000 most challenging families.

There are plans to divert £480m from existing departmental budgets to local councils. They will be expected to put forward 60% of the costs for any scheme they establish, and this extra funding will top up the rest.

Integrated working is at this programme's heart. It will bring together professionals from across the public sector that engage with families in greatest need, including social workers, housing officers, benefits and employment advisers.

This approach builds on the family intervention projects running in recent years - budgets for which have been significantly reduced in the last 12 months.

It aims to reduce overlapping services, make sure services work closer together, avoid unnecessary referral and delay, and provide a real focus to interventions.

Many councils will want to take up the opportunity this new initiative creates - and our track record on integrated working will be very relevant. Our extensive experience over the last seven years delivering successful integrated working projects means we know what is necessary for this new programme to work.

A shared approach to assessment, an agreement to share information about clients simply and confidentially, and a joint induction programme for staff are all essential ingredients. A set of common skills acquired in shared training, and the creation of a Team around the Family are equally important.

At the moment, our tools for supporting integrated working are being reviewed and updated. A new support programme is also being developed with the Local Government Association. This should be just in time to help with the delivery of this latest programme.

Other stories in the December edition of CWDC News are listed below.

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December's stories

Page updated: 19 December 2011

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