Blending Adolescent Responses with Whole Family Approaches

Camden’s Family Circles seeks to restoratively engage families and their adolescent children empowering family members through use of trained volunteers.

Havering is developing an Adolescent Safeguarding Hub which reflects the borough’s commitment to systemic practice and retains significant input from family therapists within an integrated response to adolescent risk.

Hackney’s Clinical Service (Hub) is an in-house provision for children and families in their homes, schools, Youth Hubs or other community settings. The service offers individual, family and group work and offers a wide range of support to families, depending on needs and goals. Clinicians draw on a range of evidence-based approaches including CBT, Systemic Psychotherapy, Psychodynamic Psychotherapy, Social Learning Theory and Attachment Theory-based approaches. The service offers specific assessments and interventions in relation to harmful sexual behaviour such as AIM assessments, the Good Lives Model and group work with parents of young people experiencing extra-familial harm.


Bexley has developed an Equity Panel which reviews and supports action to ensure vulnerable groups and those with protected characteristics receive equitable treatment within the borough.

Lambeth’s ‘Raising the Game’ programme focuses on promoting the achievement and aspiration of Black Caribbean Pupils in Lambeth to tackle the 7-10% academic attainment gap and disproportionately high exclusion rates that Black Caribbean pupils in the borough face. Through the Lambeth Schools Partnership, a range of events have been held giving pupils of all ages the chance to meet inspirational, highly-successful black individuals from a range of professional and academic backgrounds. Lambeth is also reviewing processes and practices to reduce the number of school exclusions, specifically for young boys who are knife carriers in partnership with the Mental Health Foundation

Hackney describes a particularly well-developed youth police advisory panel which is involved with a range of engagement and quality assurance activity including supporting better use of stop and search.

Inter-Borough Information Exchange

City of London has a protocol providing for the systematic exchange of information both for City of London children out of authority and other LA’s children coming to attention in the City. This extends to information exchange to support the range of responsibilities to children educated outside of the City.

Ealing is seeking to improving knowledge of young people placed in the borough by other authorities and aims to ensure that risk assessments are completed and that these are reviewed at the MAVES panel (see above).

Wandsworth’s self-evaluation highlights work done with neighbours in Lambeth, Merton, Lewisham, and Croydon to scrutinise links and share information about specific vulnerable young people, review trends in relation to Missing/RHI and to work on broader cross borough issues trends and themes.

Service Models

Redbridge points to the effectiveness of its Family Intervention Team in making an important contribution to its low level of adolescent entrants into care. This whole-family approach which engages through pro-active relational work in a well-established service fully aligned to the borough’s wider practice model.

Bexley’s Staying Together Team also describes impact in maintaining a stable adolescent care population (against a backdrop of a rising adolescent entrants to care in London). Again this team benefits from being a fully integrated part of the wider borough practice model (Signs of Safety) deployed in the borough.

Hounslow’s Adolescent Support Team has been developed to offer bespoke services to the borough’s vulnerable adolescent cohort Adolescent Team in Children’s Social Care and is supported by a single Targeted Early Help Adolescent Support Team (AST).  

Croydon has undertaken a significant realignment of its services to develop Adolescent Support Teams. These teams case manage adolescents and families open as Child in Need, on Child Protection Plans or Looked After with the criteria for teams being ‘risk outside of the home’ ie going missing, involved in offending, being exploited, in gangs. Teams include a mix of social workers and other qualified adolescent workers.

Wandsworth’s Evolve adolescent exploitation team has been developed to specifically focus on supporting young people to form trusted relationships and challenge violence, abuse and exploitation. The team is an expression of a strategic commitment to adolescent safeguarding articulated in the borough’s Start Well Charter.

Hillingdon has developed an integrated Adolescent Service and as a result can point to improved outcomes and experience for young people through this bespoke service.

Harrow’s Violence, Vulnerability and Exploitation Team employ a dedicated CSE coordinator and specialist workers for missing children and children at risk of gangs, youth violence, and extremism. Being located in the Children’s Access Team in close proximity to the Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH), ensures that “real time” intelligence and information is shared through these systems.