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Case study

Taking action and reviewing impact: Margate task force


13 Aug 2015

The Margate Task Force (MTF) is a multi-award winning co-located integrated team. It’s made up of 14 different agencies and 30 staff, working in two of the most deprived wards in Kent (Margate Central and Cliftonville West). Margate experiences multiple layers of risk and deprivation. The MTF aims to identify the most complex social issues and deliver a joint ‘street level’ service to respond to risk and vulnerabilities. Alex’s story below illustrates the impact that the Task Force are having.

Alex was previously in care but is now living with his mother in Margate. His mother is an alcoholic with drug issues and he has younger siblings who are in care. Alex has a history of petty crime and cannabis dealing, and is currently out of work. On the health front, he has a history of long-term poor diet, poor sleeping habits and asthma. He smokes cigarettes and is a cannabis user. When he came to our notice at MTF, the family were already known to many support agencies, but there was limited activity currently and Alex was very reluctant to engage. Following initial discussions, the MTF looked into opportunities for training and support for him. A key part of this was the 1:1 support from officers in the team.

During this time Alex became a father for the first time. His partner was herself known to local services. At birth, the baby was placed under a Child Protection Order; a life changing experience for any parent and a tipping point for some. The story could have gone a number of ways at this point.

Due to his work with the MTF, Alex has developed trust in three key professionals, possibly for the first time in his life. These professionals have become role models. They have led him to engage with services and his family have moved from the Child Protection Order, to Child in Need and now, four months later, onto ‘Team Around the Family’ support. This is a significant step for them all. Alex is looking for work and developing his skills so that he can provide for his family. He has also self-referred for a mental health assessment. This is only the start of the process but a good example of how lives can be changed through perseverance and through support from the right people.

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