The local health and social care system have put a bid into NHS England to be an early implementer of a keyworker service. All areas have to have this service in place by 2023/24 but we are hoping that we will be able to start this work early. If we are lucky to win the bid the work would start in the summer of this year. If not we will be well prepared when we do start which will be 2023/24!
The service locally will respond to the needs of families of CYP with learning disabilities and or autism, providing stability and clear plans when they are struggling and at key transition points. All families can face challenges and disruption, but such times are particularly difficult for those living with learning disabilities and or autism. Periods of change can easily escalate to crisis and key working will enable a proactive approach to supporting families at such times.
The keyworker service is to support these families when their needs are escalating and there is talk of them needing to go into a specialist placement. If a child and their family have escalating needs we ask parents’ permission for their details to be logged on our Dynamic Support Register (also known as the Admissions Avoidance Register) and their situation is discussed at our partnership meeting. This is so we can work out across health and social care how we can best support the child and their family. The keyworker service will work with families and CYP: opening and navigating systems to provide the best outcomes for the child and their family, including siblings; connecting families and services together with honest and open time limited conversations (dependent on needs) with a clear plan for discharge and a step down approach and a preventative plan moving forward. Elements of emotional support for the family will be instigated quickly and effectively.
Introducing the keyworker role earlier in the journey will enable a co-ordinated approach to addressing where things are going wrong or the right support is not being provided. The keyworking Team will sit outside of the health and social care system so that it can effectively challenge without any conflict of interest. We will be linking the keyworker role with the work of the Parent Carer Forums (PACC and PODs) so that the learning from the role can be used directly to inform system change, strengthening the position of the Forums and developing links with a cohort that Forums often do not hear from.
Our vision is that we keep families together wherever possible by increasing resilience of the whole family.
We will let you know if we have been successful!