South West Safeguarding and Child Protection Procedures
South West Safeguarding and Child Protection Procedures South West Safeguarding and Child Protection Procedures

1.2.1 Gateway Panel Terms of Reference

Contents

  1. Background
  2. Purpose
  3. Paperwork required for Panel
  4. Responsibilities of the Gateway Panel
  5. Chairing and Membership
  6. Administration


1. Background

The Gateway Panel is part of Wiltshire's Complex Families Project - our local response to the Government's Troubled Families initiative. The vision is that children, young people and their families should be able to access family and parenting support services in a timely way, that interventions focus on delivering specific outcomes for children and families, and that there is a reduction in the number of children and young people who are referred to Children's Social Care Services or need to be taken into local authority care.

The Gateway Panel is multi-agency and will focus on the interface between Level 2b and Level 3 family and parenting support services (see Wiltshire's Children in Need Threshold Criteria). It will focus on those families who fall just below the social care threshold but where there are still significant concerns about parenting and children's welfare. It will also provide the forum for accessing the intensive family support service for Children's Social Care and the specialist Family and Assessment Support Service (FASS) provided by CAMHS.


2. Purpose

The purpose of the Gateway Panel is to provide access to family and parenting support services and to ensure that all relevant support services have been offered before a child becomes looked after by the local authority (unless a placement needs to be made in an emergency to ensure a child's safety).

The Gateway Panel will run in two parts: Part I will focus on early help for families and Part II will consider children and young people on the edge of care. The family and parenting support services that the Gateway Panel will provide access to are:

  • Wiltshire Families First run by Action for Children (level 2b);
  • The Prevention Service run by the Youth Offending Service (level 2b);
  • Adolescent Support Workers based in Integrated Youth (level 2b/3);
  • Family Group Conference Service run by Daybreak (level 2b/3);
  • Intensive family support service run by Children's Social Care and Integrated Youth (level 3);
  • Family Assessment and Support Service (FASS) run by Oxford Health who provide CAMHS in Wiltshire (level 3).
All referrals for these services will be allocated through the Gateway Panel. The only exception to this will be where a service is required because a child or young person is at risk of imminent family breakdown or at risk of significant harm, and failure to provide a service would place a child or young person at risk. In such circumstances referrals will be presented to the next Gateway Panel for consideration and tracking purposes.


3. Paperwork required for Panel

For Part I of the Panel which provides access to early help family and parenting support services, it is expected that all referrers will provide:

  • A completed CAF (with signed consent by the young person'/parent for sharing information) and the latest copy of minutes of any Team Around the Child meeting; or
  • A completed Asset Assessment form; or
  • A parental screening form completed by adult substance misuse services;

    AND
  • A 'Request for Support through Gateway Panel' form.

Further details can be found on the Children's Trust Pathways website. The referrer for early help family and parenting support services is not required to attend the Panel.

For Part II of the Panel for children and young people on the edge of care, the Social Worker will need to provide the latest Core Assessment, Children in Need Plan or Child Protection Plan. It is expected that a Social Worker requesting that a child or young person should be looked after by the local authority will attend the Panel to present the case or be available to join the Panel by telephone conference call.


4. Responsibilities of the Gateway Panel

The Gateway Panel will ensure that:

  • There is timely allocation of family and parenting support services - adopting a principle of no delay;
  • All available family and parenting support has been offered before a child becomes looked after by the local authority;
  • Every family support intervention offered is monitored and tracked so that improved outcomes for children and families can be demonstrated;
  • "Step down" processes from Children's Social Care to level 2b are followed in terms of continuity of family support services (if needed);
  • There is escalation of cases where safeguarding/child protection concerns are identified by the Panel but do not to appear to have been identified by the referrer;
  • Information discussed at Panel remains confidential and is only shared on a 'need to know' basis.


5. Chairing and Membership

The Panel will be chaired by the Service Director - Children's Social Care and Integrated Youth. Any decision to bring a child or young person into local authority care will be made by the Service Director using information provided by the Social Worker and members of the Panel. In the absence of this Service Director, the Panel will be chaired by a Head of Service within Children's Social Care and Integrated Youth.

Other members of the Gateway Panel are listed below.

Mal Munday Head of Service - Integrated Youth and Family Support
Amanda Bennett Lead Commissioner - Family & Parenting Support
Manager Wiltshire Families First, Action for Children
Blair Keltie Head of Youth Offending Service
Richard Charmers Manager of Daybreak Family Group Conference Service
Angela Everett Early Years Manager - Schools and Learning
Andy Meads / Marlene Peters Intensive Family Support Service Manager/Contact and Assessment Service - Children's Social Care and Integrated Youth
Ann Knight / Jenny Wilson Public Health Managers (Health Visiting and School Nursing)- Wiltshire Community Health Services, Great Western Hospital
David Pocock / Gerry Byrne CAMHS FASS - Oxford Health
Nicole Preema Children's Service Buyer - Commissioning and Performance
Michelle Riley Area CAF Co-ordinator - Commissioning and Performance

Part II of the Panel will also have representation from the Council's Legal Department. A representative from the Council's Schools and Learning Team will also be invited to attend the Panel when relevant.


6. Administration

Wiltshire Council will be responsible for the preparation and distribution of papers for the meetings of the panel and the recording of panel decisions. The panel will be administered by the Children's Services Buyers Team based in Commissioning and Performance. In preparation for the Panel, the Children's Services Buyers will check information systems within Children's Services to ensure that Panel members have all relevant information about a child and family.

Every effort will be made to bring cases to the next Panel following referral but, on occasion, there may be a delay of up to 2 weeks where there is a need to gather information about a child's family.

Length and frequency

The Gateway Panel will meet on a weekly basis. Part I of the Panel on accessing early help family and parenting support services will run from 9 - 11 am. Part II of the Panel relating to children and young people on the edge of care will run from 11 am - 1 pm.

Links with other Panels

The Gateway Panel will have close links with the Risk Management Panel chaired by the Head of Service for Integrated Youth, and also with the Placement Panel in Children's Social Care chaired by the Head of Service for Children in Care. The Risk Management Panel shares information and strategies for reducing risky behaviour in relation to young people who are already supported by Children's Social Care, the Youth Offending Service or specialist CAMHS. The Placement Panel ensures that there is effective, robust care planning for all children and young people who are looked after by the local authority.

Review of terms of reference

These terms of reference will be reviewed in early 2013 by panel members and commissioners to ensure they are relevant and fit for purpose.

End