Right Help, Right Time
At the heart of Jersey’s Children First is a commitment to providing the right help at the right time for children, young people and families. Evidence shows this is more effective than later, statutory intervention.
The term 'Right Help, Right Time' describes our approach to providing support to children, young people and families as soon as problems start to emerge. This may be at any point during childhood or adolescence.
Right Help, Right Time is offered via a single agency or, if a child or young person’s needs and circumstances make them more vulnerable, as a co-ordinated multi-agency approach.
Jersey’s Children First supports a more seamless transition between services. It aligns processes so they are less confusing for children, young people and their families and the diverse children’s workforce.
Those working in adult services are made aware of this practice framework so that they can let parents/carers know who to contact for support and when.
Jersey’s Children First explains that everyone who works with children and their families must understand their basic responsibility to ask questions when they think or believe that a child/young person is not okay and to do something about it.
The framework provides shared tools and guidance to help practitioners decide if a child and family assessment may be needed. Every child/young person needs to be at the centre of their assessment and plan. The same assessment is used as the basis for multi-agency support and children’s social work. This is very important to children, young people and their families because retelling their story can make them feel ignored. Sharing their information again and again in order to access different services can be frustrating and unnecessarily upsetting.
The assessment moves with the child/young person and will be added to as necessary and although the child/young person may access different agencies and services, the language, principles and qualities they encounter will be the same.
Jersey’s Children First promotes the involvement of the child/young person in their own assessment, ensuring that their voice is heard and their views, feelings and wishes, together with those of their family, are included in the plan.
Shared values, principles and qualities
The framework also clearly sets out shared values, principles and qualities for all those working with children, young people and their families. This supports one of the framework’s main aims, which is understanding the importance of engaging children, young people and families and the practitioner qualities that help this.
We recognise that parents and carers generally want what is best for their children. Naturally they sometimes need support, yet for various reasons they may find it hard to ask for help.
The framework encourages practitioners to welcome questions from children, young people and their families, acknowledge and address their concerns and emphasise the opportunity for support.
Practitioners will encourage parents and carers to be honest and say if they don’t understand something and to try and attend all meetings and appointments.
The framework promotes an open and transparent way of working with children, young people and families.