A new protocol supporting children and families in Copeland has been launched.
“No Wrong Door, No Closed File” encourages organisations to be persistent and flexible when working with families in need of support.
Chair of the partnership, Copeland Council Chief Executive Pat Graham, said: “Sometimes, when a family stops engaging with offers of help, it’s a sign they need that help even more.
“Their lives may have become more chaotic, their health could have deteriorated, or any number of factors could be stopping them from keeping in touch.
“This protocol says we should be flexible in continuing to encourage contact, rather than close cases because things have gone quiet.
“It also stresses there is ‘no wrong door’ – someone in need of help should not be sent away because they’ve approached the ‘wrong’ agency.
“It’s important we work in an integrated way to get that person the help they need, so that young people are supported, regardless of where and how they access the system.”
The document has been developed by the Copeland Children and Young People’s Locality Partnership, part of the Cumbria Children’s Trust Board, and builds on joint work already being done by partners in the district.
It aims to ensure families can access support, whichever organisation they are in contact with, No Wrong Door, and that organisations continue to stay in touch with families, even if adults may have drawn away from help support, No Closed File.
The protocol was launched today at a gathering of the Copeland Children and Young People Locality Partnership in Whitehaven.
Fiona Musgrave, Vice Chair of Cumbria’s Children’s Trust Board and Assistant Director for Integration and Partnerships at Cumbria County Council, said: “The principles in this protocol are really important and are a fundamental part of how Children’s Services support children and families.
“That’s why it is really positive that this way of working is being adopted by so many different organisations and I’m sure it will make a difference.
“I am looking forward to seeing how this approach improves the lived experience for children and their families and how this can be adopted elsewhere in Cumbria.”
At yesterday’s, today’s event, Copeland Children and Young People Locality Partnership organisations were asked to sign up to the protocol, and pledge to do all they can to ensure families don’t lose contact with the system when they need help.
The Copeland Children and Young People Locality Partnership includes 70 organisations from across the public and third sectors.