Families First and value for money

The request was partially successful.

Dear Torfaen Council,

Please could you provide me with any evaluation of the Families First programme in Torfaen along with any value for money evaluation on outcomes from the programme.

Yours faithfully,

Alan Smithee

Call Torfaen, Torfaen Council

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Council welcomes correspondence in Welsh and English. Correspondence
received in Welsh will be answered in Welsh and will not lead to any
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Hello Alan Smithee,
Your service request has been sent to Torfaen County Borough Council.
Please review all the information below and keep it for your records:
SERVICE REQUEST #      1452456
CATEGORY    Customer Contact
Contact Details

Name Alan Smithee
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Home Phone -
Email Address [FOI #425593 email]

Information

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-----Original Message----- From: Alan Smithee
[mailto:[FOI #425593 email]] Sent: 16 August
2017 09:52 To: Your Call Subject: Freedom of Information request -
Families First and value for money Dear Torfaen Council, Please could
you provide me with any evaluation of the Families First programme in
Torfaen along with any value for money evaluation on outcomes from the
programme. Yours faithfully, Alan Smithee
-------------------------------------------------------------------
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What action has been taken?
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Date email was received
16-08-2017

Thanks for contacting Torfaen Council. An officer from Call Torfaen will
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Torfaen County Borough Council

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Service request # 1452456:

Thank you for taking the time to email us. The officer has referred
your email to the department responsible and they will reply
directly.

 

Standard response time is 10 working days.

 

Kind regards

 

Torfaen Customer Services Team

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FOI, Torfaen Council

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Dear Mr Smithee

 

Thank you for your email dated 16^th August 2017 requesting information
under the Freedom of Information Act 2000.  I have logged your email and
will deal with your request in order that we can respond to you within the
statutory deadline of 20 working days.

 

I will contact you further as soon as the relevant information is
available.

 

This correspondence is available in large print, Braille or Welsh. Please
contact us for further details or if we can help in any way.

 

Yours sincerely

 

Lisa Coles

 

Lisa Coles

Senior Business Support Officer (Complaints/FOI) / Uwch Swyddog Cymorth
Busnes (Cwynion/Rhyddid Gwybodaeth)

Chief Executive’s Service / Gwasanaeth Y Prif Weithredwr

Torfaen County Borough Council / Cyngor Bwrdeistref Sirol Torfaen

Phone/Ffôn: 01495 761615/ Fax/Ffacs: 01495 766331

Email/E-Bost: [3][email address]

This email is available in large print, Braille or Welsh upon request

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Torfaen Mayor’s Charities / Elusennau Maer Torfaen 2017/18

          
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FOI, Torfaen Council

7 Attachments

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Dear Mr Smithee

 

Thank you for your email dated 16th August 2017 requesting information
under the Freedom of Information Act 2000. I am now in a position to
respond to your questions. You requested the following:-

 

Please could you provide me with any evaluation of the Families First
programme in Torfaen along with any value for money evaluation on outcomes
from the programme

 

I attach an Evaluation document produced in March 2017. Under Section
40(2) of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 we are withholding pages 2-19
of the document in that disclosure of the information would be likely to
contravene the principles of the Data Protection Act as it would be likely
to reveal the identity of the individuals.

 

The relevant principle is the first principle which states that:

 

“Personal data shall be processed fairly and lawfully and in particular
shall not be processed unless:

 

(a) at least one of the conditions in Schedule 2 is met, and

(b) In the case of sensitive personal data, at least one of the conditions
in Schedule 3 is met.”

 

The relevant condition in Schedule 2 is condition 6 which states that:

 

“the processing is necessary for the purposes of legitimate interests
pursued by the Data Controller or by the third party or parties to whom
the data are disclosed, except where the processing is unwarranted in any
particular case by reason of prejudice to the rights or freedoms or
legitimate interest of the data subject.”

 

Following the tribunal decision in Corporate Officer of the House of
Commons V Information Commissioner and Leapman Brooke and Thomas the
Information Commissioner has recommended that public authorities approach
Condition 6 as a three part test which has been applied as follows:

 

1.     There must be legitimate interest in the public obtaining the
information. There is an interest in public awareness and confidence that
the Council is acting properly.

 

2.     The second test is knowing whether the disclosure is necessary for
the legitimate public interest. In the public interest test, there is an
assumption in favour of disclosure because the public authority must
disclose the information unless the public interest in maintaining the
exemption outweighs the public interest in disclosure. In the case of
section 40(2) the interaction with the DPA means the assumption is
reversed; a justification is needed for disclosure.

 

If the information was to be disclosed it is likely that the identity of
individuals involved in the Evaluation would be known as Torfaen is a
geographically small County Borough compared to other authorities. The
Authority is of the opinion that there is no legitimate interest in the
public obtaining personal information of this nature about the
individuals.

 

3.     The third test is whether the disclosure is nevertheless
unwarranted because of an excessive or disproportionate adverse effect on
the legitimate interests of the individuals concerned.

 

The Council has not requested the permission of those involved in the
Evaluation to disclose the information and there would be an expectation
by individuals that the information would remain confidential. Due to the
small geographical area that Torfaen encompasses, disclosure of the
information may lead to the identification of those involved and by the
very nature of the information contained within the document, disclosure
could potentially adversely affect the individuals concerned
disproportionately to any potential benefit to the release of this
information to the public.

 

Information supplied in response to any Freedom of Information Act request
may be subject to copyright. A single copy of information supplied under
the Freedom of Information Act may only be used for personal,
non-commercial research or study, unless stated otherwise. It must not be
passed to others, copied or re-published in whole or in part without
permission from the copyright holder. Any copyright statement that forms
part of or in any way refers to the information provided must not be
altered or removed.

 

If you have any queries about this letter or are unhappy about the service
you have received in relation to your request and wish to make a complaint
or request a review, please do not hesitate to contact me in writing.

 

If you are not content with the outcome of your complaint, you may apply
directly to the Information Commissioner for a decision. Generally, the
Information Commissioner’s Office (Wales) cannot make a decision unless
you have exhausted the complaints procedure provided by this Council. The
Information Commissioner can be contacted at: The Information
Commissioner’s Office (Wales), 2nd Floor, Churchill House, Churchill Way,
Cardiff, CF10 2HH. Telephone 029 2067 8400 or Fax 029 2067 8399 or e-mail
[3][email address].

 

This email is available in large print, Braille or Welsh. Please contact
us for further details or if we can help in any way.

 

Yours sincerely

 

Lisa Coles

Senior Business Support Officer (Complaints/FOI) / Uwch Swyddog Cymorth
Busnes (Cwynion/Rhyddid Gwybodaeth)

Chief Executive’s Service / Gwasanaeth Y Prif Weithredwr

Torfaen County Borough Council / Cyngor Bwrdeistref Sirol Torfaen

Phone/Ffôn: 01495 761615/ Fax/Ffacs: 01495 766331

Email/E-Bost: [4][email address]

This email is available in large print, Braille or Welsh upon request

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on Facebook

 

Torfaen Mayor’s Charities / Elusennau Maer Torfaen 2017/18

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'

The
Council welcomes correspondence in Welsh and English. Correspondence
received in Welsh will be answered in Welsh and will not lead to any
delay.
**********************************************************************
Mae’r Cyngor yn croesawu gohebiaeth yn Gymraeg a Saesneg. Cewch ateb
Cymraeg i bob gohebiaeth yn Gymraeg ac ni fydd yn arwain i unrhyw oedi.'

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Richard Taylor left an annotation ()

This FOI request was for a report by Oxford Brookes University's "Institute of Public Care" on social services provision by Torfaen County Council. The council provided the report but initially made a failed attempt to redact some material from it on the grounds it comprised personal information; the council have subsequently provided an effectually redacted version.

While the report does not explicitly identify any individuals some of the case studies included in the report were presented in sufficient detail to enable those involved to be identified by those with some knowledge of the families in question. We at WhatDoTheyKnow.com think it was right for the council to attempt to withhold information in the cases were individuals could be identified. We have removed the ineffectually redacted version of the report from public view on our website; the report was originally released on 1 September 2017.

The replacement response provided by the council on the 4th of September includes 18 pages of the 24 page report where all the content, other than the page headers and footers, has been redacted.

We consider the redaction applied to be excessive, and we do not agree that all of the redacted material amounts to individuals' personal information.

Some of the content of the report which the council attempted to redact could have embarrassed the council; for example statements such as, for example:

"In at least 5/11 of the ‘significant history’ cases, it appeared that neither the referring agency nor the key worker allocated to the case had knowledge of the previous history – and in many of these cases, this was highly relevant to ongoing work with the family.

IPC is aware that there are procedures in place to alert lead workers to a social services history and to provide them with the right contact within social care services. However, it would appear that the follow up contact doesn’t always happen.
"
and
"some, particularly vulnerable, families were waiting quite a long period of time between referral and the first visit / assessment. This seemed to contribute at least to the likelihood of them disengaging with the support. "

We are happy to publish some of the material the council have removed from their latest response; this is copied below:

"

2 Findings from the Case File Analysis and Family Interviews

2.1 Cohort Features

IPC examined the files of a total of 33 families who had recently received a ‘Don’t Walk By’ or Families First intervention (families had been referred into these arrangements in early May to mid-July 2016). 6 of these families subsequently agreed to a one to one interview.

2.1.1 Geographical location

In 4 cases, the location of the family was unclear. Of the others, most (55%) were from the Cwmbran area. A full breakdown is provided in the table below:

==Area :: (Number) :: Percentage ==
Cwmbran :: (16) :: 55%
Pontypool :: (7) :: 24%
Blaenavon :: (4) :: 14%
Sebastopol :: (2) :: 7%

2.1.2 Referring Organisation

Referrals had been received mostly from primary and secondary schools (42%) or social services (12%).

==Organisation :: (Number) :: Percentage ==

Primary schools :: (7) :: 21%
Secondary schools :: (7) :: 21%
Social Services :: (4) :: 12%
Bron Afon :: (3) :: 9%
Action for Children :: (3) :: 9%
Self-Referral (Parent) :: (3) :: 9%
Health Visiting :: (2) :: 6%
Community Nurseries :: (1) :: 3%
PMHCT :: (1) :: 3%
Flying Start :: (1) :: 3%
Healthy Babies Advisory Service :: (1) :: 3%

2.1.3 Age of Key Child and Ethnicity

The arrangements have been involved in supporting children of a very wide variety of ages from under 1 year to 18 years and a fairly evenly spread of ages in between.

However, the mode (most common) age of the key child is 14 years and the mean (average) age is 9 years.

The children were almost all White British / Welsh with just one child of White British/Other European origin. In some cases, ethnicity wasn’t recorded.

2.1.4 Family composition

There were a number of large (4+ children) families, as illustrated in the table below:

==Number of children of the family living at home :: Number of families :: Percentage (approx.) ==

1 :: 5 :: 15%

2 :: 10 :: 30%

3 :: 7 :: 21%

4 :: 7 :: 21%

5 :: 4 :: 12%

A high proportion of families with 4-5 children had a significant history of involvement with Social Services (see below).

2.2 History of Involvement with Social Services

. A large proportion of the families (11/33 or one third) had a significant history of involvement with Social Care Services
. 11/33 or one third of families had some involvement with Social Care Services
. 11/33 (one third again) had no previous involvement with Social Care Services

2.2.1 ‘Significant History’ Families

. These were mostly (7/11 or 64%) families with 4-5 children living in the family home
. At least 1/11 families had older children already in care
. At least 1/11 families included children who had spent some time in care
. At least 4/11 families (36%) included children who had been on the Child Protection Register
. 7/11 (64%) families had signs of at least two out of three of the ‘toxic trio’ (domestic abuse, substance misuse and mental health problems
. 5 of these 7 families had evidence of domestic abuse and parent mental health problems
. 2 of these 7 families had evidence of domestic abuse and substance misuse problems
. 2 other families had signs of domestic abuse only
. 1 other family had signs of substance misuse only
. 1 other family had no signs of toxic trio issues – this family had a long involvement with Children’s Disability Services to support their significantly disabled child
. There were signs of child neglect over time in 4/11 (36%) families
. There were concerns relating to possible physical abuse of the children in 6/11 (55%) families. In almost all (5/6 or 83%) of these cases, there was evidence of both domestic abuse and parent (Mum) mental health problems.
. There were concerns relating to possible sexual abuse of the children in 4/11 (36%) families. In all (100%) of these cases, there were also concerns about possible physical abuse. In all (100%) of these cases, there was also evidence of both domestic abuse and parent (Mum) mental health problems. In most of these cases, there were also concerns about neglect.

Example cases:

Case [number removed]

[Personally identifiable information removed]

Case [number removed]

This family of [redacted] children living with Mum and Dad and referred to Families First by the Secondary School were known to Social Services from 2005 including:

[Details of six referrals the latter part of the 2005-15 period removed; the first resulted in a "CIN"; others "NFA", some "NFA" on the grounds support was being provided in school]

In at least 5/11 of the ‘significant history’ cases, it appeared that neither the referring agency nor the key worker allocated to the case had knowledge of the previous history – and in many of these cases, this was highly relevant to ongoing work with the family.

IPC is aware that there are procedures in place to alert lead workers to a social services history and to provide them with the right contact within social care services. However, it would appear that the follow up contact doesn’t always happen.

2.3 Presenting Needs (at the time of referral to Families First)

2.3.1 No history of referrals to Social Services Cohort

There were 11 families in this cohort. (Sometimes overlapping) characteristics of this cohort included:

==Characteristic :: Number ::Percentage of cohort (approx.) :: Child behaviour problems (and problem boundary setting by parents)

6 :: 55% :: Diagnosed or possible ASD
5 :: 45% :: Child learning disability
3 :: 27% :: Parent mental health issues
2 :: 18% :: Family financial / benefits issues
2 :: 18% :: Family housing issues
2 :: 18% :: Recent (multiple) bereavement
1 :: 9% :: Child emotional health and wellbeing issues
1 :: 9% :: Family fleeing domestic abuse
1 :: 9%

At the point of referral, the estimated level of need within families in this cohort was as follows:

. One family (9%) at level 4-5 (borderline requiring a Social Worker led intervention)
. Two families (18%) at level 3 (multiple additional family needs requiring coordinated family support)
. Five families (45%) at level 2-3 (multiple additional family needs)
. Three families (27%) at level 2 (with some additional needs requiring targeted single agency / issue support)

Therefore, at least 27% of families in this cohort didn’t seem to require a coordinated (Don’t Walk By) response, although they probably required some form of single agency targeted response.

2.3.2 Some referral history with Social Services cohort

There were 11 families in this cohort. Their characteristics included:

Characteristic :: Number :: Percentage of cohort (approx.)

Child behaviour and problems with boundary setting :: 6 :: 55%
Child significant emotional health and wellbeing issues :: 5 :: 45%
Parent mental health problems (mostly significant) :: 5 :: 45%
Domestic abuse recent or current and/or high level family conflict :: 5 :: 45%
Probable or diagnosed ASD :: 3 :: 27%
Young person at risk of sexual exploitation :: 2 :: 18%
Caring responsibilities for extended family members living at home :: 2 :: 18%
General parenting problems :: 2 :: 18%
Parent substance misuse :: 2 :: 18%
Attachment issues :: 1 :: 9%
Housing issues :: 1 :: 9%
Finance issues :: 1 :: 9%
Child substance misuse :: 1 :: 9%
[redacted] :: 1 :: 9%
Some evidence neglectful home conditions :: 1 :: 9%
Parent learning disability :: 1 :: 9%
Parent physical health problems :: 1 :: 9%

A number of these characteristics were overlapping including in particular: ASD and problems with child behaviour / boundary setting; adult and child mental health problems; child behaviour problems and child emotional health and wellbeing problems.

At the point of referral, the estimated level of need within families in this cohort was as follows:

. One family (9%) at level 4-5 (borderline requiring a Social Worker led intervention)
. One family (9%) at level 4 (complex additional needs requiring a coordinated family support)
. Two families (18%) at level 3-4 (multiple additional family needs requiring coordinated family, bordering complex)
. Five families (45%) at level 3 (multiple additional family needs requiring coordinated family support)
. Two families (18%) at level 2-3 (multiple additional family needs)

2.3.3 Significant history of referrals and interventions with Social Services cohort

There were 11 families in this cohort. In addition to the significant referral and ‘toxic trio’ history outlined above, the often overlapping) characteristics of this cohort at the point of referral included:

==Characteristic :: Number :: Percentage of cohort (approx.)

Child challenging behaviour and (parent) difficulties in establishing boundaries / empathy with the child :: 9 :: 82%
Child emotional health and wellbeing issues :: 5 :: 45%
Parent mental health issues :: 5 (including some significant) :: 45%
Child disability (LD and PD) :: 5 :: 45%
Possible ongoing risk of physical abuse :: 4 :: 36%
Poor school attendance / truancy :: 2 :: 18%
Risk of child sexual exploitation :: 2 :: 18%
Probable ongoing domestic abuse :: 2 :: 18%
Family finance issues :: 2 :: 18%
Housing issues :: 1 :: 9%
Child substance misuse issues :: 1 :: 9%
Sexually abused child :: 1 :: 9%

At the point of referral, the estimated level of need within families in this cohort was as follows:

. Three families (27%) at level 5 (needs indicate a Care and Support Plan)
. Three families (27%) at level 4-5 (very complex needs bordering the need for social worker involvement via a care and support plan)
. One family (9%) at level 4 (complex additional needs requiring coordinated family support)
. One family (9%) at level 3 (multiple additional family needs requiring coordinated family support)
. Two families (18%) at level 2-3 (multiple additional family needs)
. One family (9%) at level 2 (some additional needs requiring targeted single agency support)

2.3.4 Levels of presenting need in the overall cohort

==Level :: Description :: Number :: Percentage ==

2 :: Some additional needs requiring targeted single agency support :: 4 :: 12%
2-3 :: Multiple additional family needs :: 9 :: 27%
3 :: Multiple additional family needs requiring coordinated family support :: 8 :: 24%
3-4 :: As above, bordering complex needs :: 2 :: 6%
4 :: Complex additional needs :: 2 :: 6%
4-5 :: Very complex additional needs bordering the need for social worker involvement via a care and support plan :: 5 :: 15%
5 :: Needs indicate a care and support plan :: 3 :: 9%

Therefore, most of the families referred into this pathway (88%) had needs that indicated more than a targeted single agency support.

Approximately 24% had very high level and complex needs suggestive of the need for intensive family support delivered by highly skilled professionals with sufficient time (including caseloads) to deliver this form of support.

9% had needs and risks suggestive of a Care and Support plan facilitated and coordinated by a social worker.

2.4 Lead Workers and their Initial Engagement with Families

2.4.1 Who were the Lead Workers?

Lead Workers were mainly from Families First funded services, as illustrated below:

== Service :: No. from the ‘no history’ cohort :: No. from the ‘some history’ cohort :: No. from the ‘sig history’ cohort :: Total and % ==

FAP :: 3 :: 3 :: 5 :: 11 (33%)
Bron Afon :: 2 :: 3 :: 4 :: 9 (27%)
Early Years :: 4 :: 1 :: 2 :: 7 (21%)
Disabled children service :: 2 :: 2 (6%)
Communities First :: 1 :: 1 (3%)
Healthy Babies Adviser :: 1 :: 1 (3%)
Action for Children :: 1 :: 1 (3%)
Family Focus :: 1 :: 1 (3%)

[Note presentation method means above data other than totals is unclear for services without an entry in each column]

2.4.2 How well did the lead workers engage initially with families?

== Type of engagement :: No history cohort :: Some history cohort :: Sig history cohort :: Total and %
Impossible to see from the file, but obviously quite well, as the family did engage :: 3 :: 2 :: 2 :: 7 (21%)
Lead worker already involved with the family, thus straight forward engagement :: 1 :: 1 :: 2 :: 4 (12%)
Good, including timely, tenacious and involving several techniques :: 4 :: 2 :: 2 :: 8 (24%)
Quite good, some limitations :: 3 :: 1 :: 4 (12%)
No real opportunity to engage as case stepped up to Social Services quickly :: 2 :: 2 (6%)
Unsuccessful in spite of good attempts (probably inappropriate referral) :: 1 :: 1 (3%)
Poor including delayed :: 4 :: 3 :: 7 (21%)

[Note presentation method means above data other than totals is unclear for engagement types without an entry in each column]

Most lead workers engaged well and in a timely way with families allocated to them or already involved with them. However, 21% of early engagement activity was considered by evaluators to be poor, including some delays or insufficiently pro-active engagement with families with high level needs and/or a significant history of involvement with social services.

2.5 Whole Family Assessment

2.5.1 Type of Assessment

There were 6 instances where an assessment hadn’t been completed – mainly because the case had been closed before this was appropriate and/ or stepped up to Social Services. In one case, there was no record of the assessment on the file for other reasons.

For the remaining 26 families, workers had completed a Family Support Assessment with the families concerned, including the ‘scoring’ section in all bar one case.

2.5.2 Quality of the assessment

Where an assessment had been completed, these were almost always (in 23 out of 26 or 88% cases) of good quality including holistic, strengths based and focusing on the key family issues. In 3 cases, the assessment wasn’t judged to be sufficient, particularly with reference to relevant areas of family functioning that remained unexplored.

2.5.3 Timeliness of the assessment

. For the ‘no history’ cohort, the average time between referral and completion of the assessment (where one was done) was 4.5 weeks. The time varied between 2 and 8 weeks
. For the ‘some history’ cohort, the average time between referral and completion of the assessment was 7 weeks. The time varied between 2 and 12 weeks
. For the ‘significant history’ cohort, the average time between referral and completion of the assessment was 6 weeks. The time varied between 1 and 12 weeks

These average timescales seem appropriate, with the proviso that some, particularly vulnerable, families were waiting quite a long period of time between referral and the first visit / assessment. This seemed to contribute at least to the likelihood of them disengaging with the support.

2.6 Quality of Plans

All 26 families who had an assessment also had a Family Support Plan. The table below illustrates the varied quality of these plans:

== Qualities :: No History :: Cohort :: Some History Cohort :: Sig History Cohort :: Total
Good, comprehensive plan including outcomes-focused :: 3 :: 0 :: 3 :: 6
Fair, but not outcomes-focused – focused more on outputs :: 3 :: 4 :: 3 :: 7
Fair, but not sufficiently multi-agency plan :: 2 :: 0 :: 0 :: 2
Fair, but insufficiently clear about what will be done, by whom and when :: 2 :: 4 :: 1 :: 7
Fair, but not addressing some of the key issues or proposing support that is likely to be insubstantial :: 2 ([redacted]) :: 0 :: 2 (particularly insufficient lead worker support) :: 4

2.7 Interventions and Outcomes

2.7.1 Did Team around the Family Meetings take place?

==No history cohort :: Some history cohort :: Sig history cohort :: Total ==
Several TAF meetings :: 1 :: 1 :: 2 (6%)
One TAF meeting :: 3 :: 3 :: 3 :: 9 (27%)
Didn’t need a TAF meeting or N/A :: 4 :: 3 :: 4 :: 11 (33%)
Didn’t have a TAF meeting but the family might have benefitted :: 3 :: 5 :: 3 :: 11 (33%)

. In one third of the reviewed cases, there was at least one TAF meeting – although about a half of this sample had late or very late TAF meetings (with reference to the referral date and/or assessment)
. In one third of the reviewed cases, there was no TAF meeting but evaluators judged that the family might have benefitted from one
. One third of the sample didn’t require a TAF meeting, either because the nature of need or because circumstances changed before one could be arranged (for example, step up to Social Services)

2.7.2 Interventions and outcomes for the ‘no history with social services’ cohort

. In the majority (7/11 or 64%) of the ‘no history with social services’ cohort, the interventions and outcomes were largely very positive including a good well-received intervention, a clear plan that was delivered thoughtfully and responsively, and evidence that the key issues or problems for the family were improving. There were a variety of levels of need within this cohort (from 2 to 4/5) and a variety of lead workers involved.

Examples of these successful cases are provided below, including family member verification of the experience and outcomes:

Case [redacted] including reference to family interview

[Redacted personally identifiable material]

Case Study [redacted] including reference to family interview

[Redacted personally identifiable material]

Case [redacted]
[Redacted personally identifiable material]

Case [redacted] including reference to family interview

[Redacted personally identifiable material]

[Critical quote from family member removed as the council claims those participating in the evaluation would have an expectation of confidentiality]

2.7.3 Interventions and outcomes for the ‘some history with social services’ cohort

. In 2/11 of these ‘some history with social services’ cases, there was evidence of largely positive outcomes. These were both level 3 cases:

Case [redacted]

This level 3 case concerned a [Redacted personally identifiable material]

Case 17

This level 3 case concerned [Redacted personally identifiable material]

All communication with the family post-assessment was undertaken over the telephone rather than face to face, which may have limited the worker’s ability to work 1:1 with the family on some of these issues, or to encourage them into more appropriate services and supports.

. In 4/11 of these cases, there was no evidence of progress or a deterioration in family conditions and outcomes. The level of need was mixed for this group, from 2-3 to 3-4. These cases were characterised by:
. Plans that didn’t acknowledge significant family needs – for example very poor family communication and high level conflict; significant child anxiety issues; domestic abuse; or parent mental health issues
. A resultant lack of focus on the key issue or issues (as above)
. Lead worker insufficiently engaged or pro-active with the family to explore the
key issue(s) – lead working instead at arms’ length, for example by sending check-up texts. Overall, insufficient time with the whole family and insufficient attention to escalating needs
. The organisation of a Team around the Family only very late in the intervention – when an early TAF could have helped to explore the issues and develop more effective plans
. In one case, significant drift in lead worker communication with the family

Case [redacted]

This level 3 case concerned [Redacted personally identifiable material]

. In 3/11 of cases, there has been a further referral to Social Care Services between allocation and a Families First (Don’t Walk By) intervention commencing – in all cases, this resulted in a Section 47 investigation

2.7.4 Interventions and outcomes for the ‘significant history with social services’ cohort

Families in the significant history cohort were mostly at level 4-5 or 5, but there were also some at level 3 or even 2-3 (at the point of initial referral).

Evaluators noted that the chronic and complex nature of many of these families’ issues is likely to have made them largely unresponsive to anything other than very persistent, intensive, and evidence-based lead worker activity not offered through the current Torfaen model for TAF.

. In 1/11 case there was evidence of a largely positive outcome:

Case [redacted]

This level 2-3 case concerned [Redacted personally identifiable material]

The Lead Worker contacted the family 6 weeks after referral and engaged effectively with them. The holistic assessment co-produced with the family was strengths- based and thorough. This led to a good outcomes-focused plan including:

. Youth work support for the child
. TAF meeting at the school
. I:1 work with Mum to ensure safety and boundaries in place at home

3 months into the intervention, the review noted:

. Significant improvements to the child wellbeing and behaviour
. Child no longer [redacted]
. Child much calmer
. A very good parents’ evening

. In 3/11 of the significant history cases, there was evidence of some positive change and outcomes of the plan being addressed, but also some key issues that hadn’t been addressed.

Case [redacted] including reference to the family interview

This level 3 case concerns [Redacted personally identifiable material]

Mum still finds it difficult that there is no diagnosis, is waiting for a [redacted] diagnosis.
The school are saying this is difficult because they can’t access an assessment.

Case [redacted]

This level 4-5 case concerns [Redacted personally identifiable material]

Case [redacted] including reference to the family interview

This level 2-3 case concerns

[Redacted personally identifiable material]

After the assessment, most of the contact between the family and the lead worker was by telephone. The intervention didn’t really get going and the child, then Mum, disengaged.

“There were no meetings. When the worker came, he felt positive, she was on his side. What was promised was helpful, but it’s not been followed up yet. I am (still) waiting for them to get in contact.

[Redacted personally identifiable material]

Case [redacted]

This level 2-3 case concerns [Redacted personally identifiable material]

Case [redacted]

This level 5 case concerns

[Redacted personally identifiable material]

Case [redacted]

This level 4-5 case [Redacted personally identifiable material]

"

While the original response was in a format which enabled easy searching, copying and pasting etc. the replacement provided by the council is a poor quality image of a document which is hard to work with. This is disappointing.

There is a public interest in people being able to see statistical information on social services provision and in reports into social services provision being available to inform public debate.

Our publication of this material is in-line with our purpose of publishing material released following requests for information to public bodies. Decisions to publish material have been taken considering the news (journalistic) value of the material and journalistic judgements, for example taking steps to ensure balance, have been made.

--

Richard - WhatDoTheyKnow volunteer

Richard Taylor left an annotation ()

The text of the message accompanying the original 1 September 2017 response which has now been removed from the thread was:

" Dear Mr Smithee

Thank you for your email dated 16th August 2017 requesting information
under the Freedom of Information Act 2000. I am now in a position to
respond to your questions. You requested the following:-

Please could you provide me with any evaluation of the Families First
programme in Torfaen along with any value for money evaluation on outcomes
from the programme

I attach an Evaluation document produced in March 2017. Under Section
40(2) of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 we are withholding pages
2-19 of the document in that disclosure of the information would be likely
to contravene the principles of the Data Protection Act as it would be
likely to reveal the identity of the individuals.

The relevant principle is the first principle which states that:

“Personal data shall be processed fairly and lawfully and in particular
shall not be processed unless:

(a) at least one of the conditions in Schedule 2 is met, and

(b) In the case of sensitive personal data, at least one of the conditions
in Schedule 3 is met.”

The relevant condition in Schedule 2 is condition 6 which states that:

“the processing is necessary for the purposes of legitimate interests
pursued by the Data Controller or by the third party or parties to whom
the data are disclosed, except where the processing is unwarranted in any
particular case by reason of prejudice to the rights or freedoms or
legitimate interest of the data subject.”

Following the tribunal decision in Corporate Officer of the House of
Commons V Information Commissioner and Leapman Brooke and Thomas the
Information Commissioner has recommended that public authorities approach
Condition 6 as a three part test which has been applied as follows:

1. There must be legitimate interest in the public obtaining the
information. There is an interest in public awareness and confidence that
the Council is acting properly.

2. The second test is knowing whether the disclosure is necessary for
the legitimate public interest. In the public interest test, there is an
assumption in favour of disclosure because the public authority must
disclose the information unless the public interest in maintaining the
exemption outweighs the public interest in disclosure. In the case of
section 40(2) the interaction with the DPA means the assumption is
reversed; a justification is needed for disclosure.

If the information was to be disclosed it is likely that the identity of
individuals involved in the Evaluation would be known as Torfaen is a
geographically small County Borough compared to other authorities. The
Authority is of the opinion that there is no legitimate interest in the
public obtaining personal information of this nature about the
individuals.

3. The third test is whether the disclosure is nevertheless
unwarranted because of an excessive or disproportionate adverse effect on
the legitimate interests of the individuals concerned.

The Council has not requested the permission of those involved in the
Evaluation to disclose the information and there would be an expectation
by individuals that the information would remain confidential. Due to the
small geographical area that Torfaen encompasses, disclosure of the
information may lead to the identification of those involved and by the
very nature of the information contained within the document, disclosure
could potentially adversely affect the individuals concerned
disproportionately to any potential benefit to the release of this
information to the public.

Information supplied in response to any Freedom of Information Act request
may be subject to copyright. A single copy of information supplied under
the Freedom of Information Act may only be used for personal,
non-commercial research or study, unless stated otherwise. It must not be
passed to others, copied or re-published in whole or in part without
permission from the copyright holder. Any copyright statement that forms
part of or in any way refers to the information provided must not be
altered or removed.

If you have any queries about this letter or are unhappy about the service
you have received in relation to your request and wish to make a complaint
or request a review, please do not hesitate to contact me in writing.

If you are not content with the outcome of your complaint, you may apply
directly to the Information Commissioner for a decision. Generally, the
Information Commissioner’s Office (Wales) cannot make a decision unless
you have exhausted the complaints procedure provided by this Council. The
Information Commissioner can be contacted at: The Information
Commissioner’s Office (Wales), 2nd Floor, Churchill House, Churchill Way,
Cardiff, CF10 2HH. Telephone 029 2067 8400 or Fax 029 2067 8399 or e-mail
[3][email address].

This email is available in large print, Braille or Welsh. Please contact
us for further details or if we can help in any way.

Yours sincerely

Lisa Coles

Senior Business Support Officer (Complaints/FOI) / Uwch Swyddog Cymorth
Busnes (Cwynion/Rhyddid Gwybodaeth)

Chief Executive’s Service / Gwasanaeth Y Prif Weithredwr

Torfaen County Borough Council / Cyngor Bwrdeistref Sirol Torfaen

Phone/Ffôn: 01495 761615/ Fax/Ffacs: 01495 766331

Email/E-Bost: [4][email address]

This email is available in large print, Braille or Welsh upon request

[5]Description: Description: Description: tcbc logo
avatar[6]www.torfaen.gov.uk / [7]Description: Description:
cid:image001.gif@01CB4DE0.4A1FEB50[8]Follow us on Twitter /
[9]Description: Description: cid:image002.gif@01CB4DE0.4A1FEB50[10]Find us
on Facebook

Torfaen Mayor’s Charities / Elusennau Maer Torfaen 2017/18

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"

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