Safeguarding Family Support Teams (SFS)

SFS Teams work with children and young people who require support from specialist services to enable them to live safely within their families. These children fall into two main groups:

1. Children may be in need of support for specific problems or challenges and be the subject of a multi-agency Child In Need plan. The aim is to offer targeted support, reduce additional needs and enable children to access the same community resources and Early Help as any other child, thus making social work involvement no-longer necessary.

2. A smaller number of children will be assessed under S47 child protection processes and considered to be in need of ongoing protection due to abuse or neglect. These children will be the subject of a child protection plan where the aim is to reduce risk and support children remaining in the care of their parents and/or wider family.

In SFS we have a clear focus on progressing plans through the active engagement of the wider family, ensuring that children are frequently seen and spoken to and their views and wishes are incorporated into plans for improving their circumstances. SFS have access to a wide range of internal resources as well as those provided by partner agencies. We have a focus on good quality evidence based assessment with clear and targeted planning so that the right decisions are made about children at the right time.

For some children, risks cannot be effectively managed in the community and these children may need to become Looked After, whether through the initiation of Care proceedings or voluntary agreement with families. SFS provide further support and assessment as part of these processes to determine whether children can safely be rehabilitated to their family’s care. If the decision is taken that a child needs to remain Looked After long-term then these children are transferred for specialist support to our Looked After Children service.

SFS is located in New Invention, Walsall. We are co- located with the fostering service which promotes positive working relationships in the best interests of children. There are 10 SFS teams, each team is led by a Team Manager, has a Senior Practitioner and 7 social workers. There is a strong emphasis on supporting our social workers in their day to day practice, in their career pathway and professional development and we have a well embedded ASYE programme.


Safeguarding Family Support Teams (SFS)