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Case study

Identifying options and agreeing an action plan: Darlington family intervention team


13 Aug 2015

A family in Darlington were identified for inclusion in the Troubled Families Programme. Issues identified were antisocial behaviour, Mum in receipt of benefits, Mum’s mental health. Upon meeting the family (an 11 year old girl and her mum) it became evident that mum was vulnerable and susceptible to being taken advantage of due to her mental health difficulties and level of understanding, which had led to youths from the area entering her property and using the property to drink and smoke. Mum did not have the ability or confidence to exert her authority and ask them to leave and was putting her daughter at risk. Some of the youths were identified as being under 16 and currently also involved with social care, the police and housing.

After meeting the family and identifying the areas of concern, a multi-agency meeting was held and included professionals from housing (who were already involved with the family) and the PCSO for the area where the family live. We discussed the ongoing concerns surrounding the young people entering the property and agreed that the best course of action would be to complete some joint work, which would centre on educating the mum about ensuring the safety of her daughter and her property. The PCSO and I agreed that we would complete some close joint work with the family and the local community.

Joint visits were completed to the family home to discuss ways of empowering the mum to say no to the young people entering the property and the consequences of what would happen if the young people continued to do so.  The PCSO brought an authoritative stance to the visit and ensured that the mum was aware of how serious the situation was, and I was able to encourage the mum to engage with the PCSO and ensured that she understood what was being discussed. The PCSO also worked in the local community gathering information about the young people that were entering the property and discussed with the families of the young people that they were no longer permitted to enter this property, during this time I worked one to one with mum to support her with her Mental Health issues and develop the confidence and self-assurance to say no to the young people and to protect her daughter. We held four weekly multi-agency meetings to share information and progress and develop strategies and suggestions to ensure the intervention was as effective as possible.

The joint working with the PCSO resulted in the family having no further antisocial behaviour incidents and no further police call outs. The family are no longer part of the Troubled Families programme, but are now continuing to work with myself and the PCSO to embed the progress made and  ensure that there are no further incidents of antisocial behaviour. The young people are also no longer entering the property and do not speak to the family, which has ensured that the family remain on course to be closed to services.