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The Family Intervention Team operates under the Troubled Families Agenda. Our aim is to provide tailored, family led support and access to services such as housing advice, debt management, mental health, etc in order to move those families most in need, out of crisis.

* Signposting and onward referral services.
* Short term intervention or support.
* Key worker allocation
* Family led action plans to success.
* Weekly family support sessions over an extended period of time (up to 2 years).
* Direct access into services.
* Partner organisation intervention: JCP, housing, health.
* Home visits
* Funding of essential items of services
* Advocacy

Locations we operate in

North Team - 0117 35 21499

Romney House, Bristol, BS7 9TB

East and Central Team - 0117 35 76460

Easton Business Centre, Bristol, BS5 0HE

South Team - 0117 90 37770

The Parc, Knowle, BS4 1DQ

Services we Provide


Preventative and early help responses are critical to avoid issues from escalating and children experiencing further harm. Interventions need to be of a kind and duration that improves and sustains the safety of children and young people into the future. Early help seeks to meet the need, support the family in resolving the problem and prevent it becoming entrenched. Universal services must remain involved even if a child and family are receiving targeted or specialist support at Level 1 plus and/or Level 2 so there is a joint, whole-system response to meeting outcomes and needs. Universal services will provide the consistency needed by the child and family. (Thresholds guidance 2018:5)

What we do

There is a range of early help support that children, young people and families receive when they have additional needs. This support can be provided via universal, universal plus and targeted services. Services can work together to support the family through difficulty. If concerns escalate then a referral to Families in Focus can be made.

The Families in Focus service support children and families whose needs require a multiagency response due to their complexity or significance. The team will provide support to help children and families achieve positive and sustained outcomes in a timely way.

Access to services

Most children and young people will have low level needs that are supported through a range of universal services including:

  • Health services such as GP's, Midwifery, Health Visiting and School Nursing;

  • Nurseries and playgroups;

  • Schools and Colleges;

  • Children's Centres;

  • Community, sport and leisure facilities;

  • Housing;

  • Youth Services 

    These services are well placed to support children and families as they have lots of contact with them and know them well.

    The changing nature of needs of the child or parent can mean the level of support required is likely to vary. As needs or concerns escalate it may be appropriate that a request for additional support is required. Additional support can be access through targeted services, examples of these include:

  • Health services such as Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS);

  • Targeted Youth Services (TYS);

  • Children's Centres

  • Voluntary and community sector organisations

  • Specialist educational services and establishments.

    When a more intensive, multiagency response is required to assist a child and family, then it may be necessary to make a referral to the area Focus in Families team. Access to Focus on Families support is through the completion of the First Response online form.

    Families need to consent to a referral being made and agree to working with agencies and information being shared. Referrers will also need to demonstrate that they have talked to other professionals to show that they have been actively involved in information sharing about a family or young person.

    Families in Focus adopt a whole family approach using strengths based practice and child centred plans and identifies and agrees goals with family members.  We recommend proportionate interventions where we ‘do it once and do it well’ and we review plans to ensure effectiveness and sustainable outcomes. The threshold for intervention and support for Families in Focus is described in the Threshold Guidance 2018.

Where we do it

Advice may be sought from Families in Focus about suitable referrals in the relevant locality as highlighted below:


First Response triages all online web forms and those referred with insufficient or incomplete information are not accepted and are returned to the referrer.

How to access

Integrated Locality Meetings

These arrangements are currently in development and will be fully functioning by September 2018.

Locality Meetings occur in all three localities across the city of Bristol on a weekly or fortnightly basis. This is a forum in which a group of multiagency professionals:

  • Discuss and review cases that are referred to a locality team
  • Allocate resources to the case where appropriate
  • Provide advice back to agencies who are concerned about cases where they are the Lead Professional
  • Signpost the referrer to appropriate resources/services to meet the needs of children and young people
  • Consider non –urgent referrals for area social work teams

  • Consider step out of area social work teams to an alternative Lead Professional

    The Locality Meeting accepts referrals from:

  • Agencies and professionals working with children and families via the First Response Online Webform  
  • Families in Focus practitioners via the Locality Meeting request form (on request to locality team emails as above)
  • Area Social Work teams via the Locality Meeting request form (on request to locality team emails as above)

The Locality Meeting will discuss the case and make a decision about how best to meet the child and families presenting needs. This could be:

  • Signposting the referrer to appropriate and suitable existing community based resources.

  • Access to Children’s Centre services

  • A Health/Education or other appropriate professional to act as Lead Professional and co-ordinate a multiagency intervention to meet the multiple needs of a child/family.

  • A Families in Focus worker allocated who will undertake a specific piece of intervention with a child / parent / family, based on their professional background, as part of a multiagency team.

  • A Families in Focus worker to work as part of a Team Around the Family (TAF), with professionals from other agencies including schools, health and CAMHs acting as the Lead Professional, to deliver a specific piece of intervention. 

  • A Families in Focus worker to act as a Lead Professional and co-ordinate a multiagency intervention to meet the multiple needs of a child/family.

  • A Social Worker from an area social work team to act as Lead Professional and investigate any concerns where a child/young person may be at risk of significant harm.

    Where the criteria for a Families in Focus intervention is met, it will be allocated to a Families in Focus worker within 5 working days of a locality meeting.

    On some occasions, it may be necessary or in the best interests of the child and family for Families in Focus to work jointly with area Social Work colleagues for a period of time.

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