July's Families First conference
This July saw the delivery of the second and final Families First 2017 conference. Opened by Lindsay Edwards (Interim Operations Director, Services for Children and Young People, Hertfordshire County Council) and Jackie Clementson (Head of Families First & Intensive Family Support), the conference brought together over 130 professionals from across a variety of services for the opportunity to network and hear about key developments from around the Families First arena.
Delegates gathered to hear partner experiences, network in the Families First Marketplace and also attend a couple of workshops about key elements of early help in Hertfordshire. The workshops included:
- Better Relationships, Better Parenting - a programme which helps parents to address any conflict in their relationship, whether they are together or apart. Children's exposure to conflict between their parents can put their mental health and long-term life chances at risk.
- Adolescent & Family Drug & Alcohol Service Hertfordshire (AFDASH) - Formerly known as ADASH, this service now employs a whole family approach to help address households where there is substance misuse either in a parent or the young person.
- Child & Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS) Transformation - Community Well-being Model - This element informed delegates about the changes to CAMHS, specifically focusing on the recently formed team of Children's Well-being Practitioners. These practitioners work with children/young people with concerns around well-being, often undiagnosed and from households where concerns such as substance misuse and domestic abuse are not present.
- Families First Triage - A workshop that enabled delegates to participate in a mock triage panel, demonstrating how the Families First Triage panels operate and the kind of cases that are discussed.
- Broxbourne's Experiences - Broxbourne started their journey embedding the Families First way of working and principles ahead of other districts in the county. This workshop gave delegates the opportunity to hear what this means in practice and how Broxbourne are already seeing the benefits of a joined up way of working - the Families First way!
- Perinatal Mental Health - A workshop providing information about the newly formed Perinatal Mental Health team. This team support parents with their mental health during the perinatal period.
It was great to see such a wide range of professionals (from independent childminders and the voluntary sector to statutory and County Council services) all in one place! The day was a brilliant live demonstration of the breadth of Families First and the services it includes.
A BIG thank you to all the presenters, workshop hosts, organisers and delegates for making the day a success and for their continued commitment to whole family working, the partnership approach and to Families First!