London Borough of Croydon

Our ambition for children is that all children and young people in Croydon will be safe, healthy and happy, and will aspire to be the best they can be. The future is theirs.

In Croydon we believe that every child should have the opportunity to reach their full potential. We believe that children should grow and achieve within their own families when it is in their best interest and it is safe for them to do so. By working together, we will develop flexible services which are responsive to children and families’ needs.  

Croydon is establishing a vision for the future that will provide for:

  • A system wide approach, with joint pooled resources and pathways operating across organisational boundaries
  • An outcome focussed approach delivering long term sustainable solutions for individuals and families to secure resilience and independence
  • A shift from acute provision to an increase in prevention and early help activity
  • Evidence based services that are built around customer need
  • Locality based delivery where appropriate

Early help is everyone’s responsibility; we want children, families, communities, including faith groups, and agencies to work together so that families are assisted to help themselves and are supported as soon as a need arises, thereby improving the wellbeing and life chances for Croydon’s children and young people.

We will as partners together:

  • Understand those children and their families where children may be at risk of not reaching their full potential and share concerns
  • Build a relationship with the child and family as early as possible, and work with them to create a family environment that provides children with the best life chances and prevent problems from arising or escalating
  • Reduce the number of children and their families requiring support from specialist services.

Croydon’s Partnership Early Help strategy and delivery plan has been developed across the partnership, and will align with Croydon’s vision for the new ‘operating model’ enabling us to provide a joined up, effective early help offer for children aged 0 to 18 years and their families.

Three early help localities (north, central and south) will work with a range of partners and practitioners to support children to support children, young people and their families within their localities.

What is the Early Help Best Start Family Solutions Service?

Early Help services have been realigned under a new Family Solutions Service which aims to provide locality based early help to families to prevent difficulties becoming worse. The Family Solutions Service provides an intensive/targeted service and will work with children and families for 0-18 years old, where there is one or more of the following:

  • Families affected by domestic violence
  • Families living with drug and alcohol misuse
  • Families affected by parental mental ill health
  • Families where children have previously been in need and in receipt of a more specialist service but continue to require further support at an intensive level of need
  • Families living with a low level of neglect
  • Families where a child or children are at risk of or have already been excluded from school.

This list is not exhaustive

The Family Solutions service will work closely with internal and external services and agencies to provide the most appropriate response to children and families co-ordinated through a lead professional (Family Key Worker) in the Family Solutions Service.

For further information please read the Croydon Partnership Early Help Strategy 2018 – 2020 and our shared guidance for practitioners, Effective Support for Children, Young People and Families Right Help, Right Time.

Resources for Safeguarding Leads