The latest news
Introducing the new grants page on portal
Our Families First Partnership Groups have produced a list of National and Local grant providers. This will hopefully prove a useful resource for the whole partnership whilst working with families. Please visit the providers websites for up-to-date information and criteria.
As this list relies on all our partners knowledge and awareness of grants and funding opportunities, please email should you wish to add a provider or remove/update any of the listings.
Could you help transform young people’s lives?
YC Hertfordshire Services for Young People, Hertfordshire County Council’s targeted youth service, is recruiting for Youth Support Workers to help vulnerable and at-risk young people develop personally, socially and emotionally.
If you have knowledge of sports, arts, media, music, outdoor education, The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award, health issues or any other areas which are of interest to young people, you could potentially become a Youth Support Worker.
The role is flexible and usually requires you to work a few late afternoons or evenings each week (term time) to help deliver groupwork projects in local community settings.
This paid role involves you working as part of a team to encourage young people to take part in planned programmes to develop their knowledge, skills and understanding in an area of interest.
Our aim is to help young people reach their full potential, make informed decisions and go on to become happy, healthy and socially-aware adults.
We’ll support you every step of the way, including with initial and ongoing training.
We have fixed hour and flexible hour contracts available in locations across Hertfordshire and in return we offer:
- A competitive benefits package with lifestyle-friendly hours
- Career-defining opportunity to develop your youth engagement skills
- Access to ongoing training and development
- Plenty of support from experienced team-members
Find out more about becoming a Youth Support Worker with YC Hertfordshire.
Update : Transforming SEND services
Local Offer Test Website
Have you heard of the Local Offer website? The Local Offer lets parents and young people know what special educational needs and disabilities services are available in Hertfordshire, and who can access them. The website has been rebuilt with the help of parents, and relaunched in a test area - take a look at the brand new site here, and give feedback before it's launched fully in the new year.
Save the Date
There will be a Local Offer Website launch on Tuesday 21st January from 12pm to 7pm at the Stanborough Centre in Watford. More details can be found here.
What are Local Delivery Networks?
The vision for Local Delivery Networks (LDN) in Hertfordshire is a partnership model that works together to join up local SEND services in a way that will help to provide families with the right service at the right time and in the right place. Working in this way will help us to ensure :
- more children with SEND are educated within a local school and participate in their local community
- improved support to local mainstream schools for inclusion and flexible provision
- clearer pathways for families to access SEND support
We are trialling this way of working in Stevenage, following a well-attended partnership workshop in November last year which presented prototype ideas to test and learn from new ways of delivering SEND services.
The overarching aim of a LDN, is the desire to further connect services to each other through networking, rationalising and formalising systems and processes, across health, education and social care. Some of the early work underway is to broker support between school support workers and Families First Co-ordinators.
The image below shows how we envisage local delivery networks will improve services for families:
You can read more about progress in Transforming SEND on our Local Offer blogs here or email SENDTransformation@hertfordshire.gov.uk
With levels of knife crime at an all-time high in Hertfordshire, the Herts Sports Partnership is using sport as an early intervention to deter young people on the cusp of the youth justice system away from engaging in criminal activity.
Sporting Chance has been designed with vulnerable young lives in mind and uses boxing and multi-sports as the conduits to focusing young people at risk, through positive diversionary activities. Supported by Hertfordshire Constabulary, Stevenage FC Foundation, Watford FC Community Sports & Education Trust, YC Hertfordshire and a team of boxing coaches, the programme offers weekly sport sessions in community venues such as schools, sports clubs and leisure centres.
Find out more at the link below:-
Youth Crime Awareness Evening
Hertfordshire Constabulary and local Community Safety Partnerships are working with local schools to host an information evening for parents, carers and the wider community on
Monday 27th January at Bushey Academy, London Road, Bushey, WD23 3AA
Refreshments will be available from 6:30pm and the session will start at 7pm and close at 9:15pm.
During the evening you will hear from guest speakers Alison Cope & Nathaniel Peat from Safety Box who will talk about:
- County lines
- Knife crime
- Social media
- Positive choices
The full invitation letter can be found here and please email to book you place
County lines is a national issue involving the use of a mobile phone line by groups to extend their drug dealing business into new locations outside of their home areas. It almost always involves the exploitation of vulnerable people, including both children and adults.
Relationships Matter Roadshows 2019
Nearly 100 people attended our Relationships Matter Roadshows in November and December, joining the campaign to improve relationships in Hertfordshire, reduce parental conflict, and improve outcomes for children.
Community organisations, the Police, GPs, Families First and a huge range of other agencies, all came together to pledge how they will improve relationships in Hertfordshire.
Our Road Shows were even discussed on the Stevenage Radio Show ‘Mind over Matter’. You can listen to the episode here: https://www.mixcloud.com/matt shoobridge/mind-over-matter-show-35/
Remember, you can help parents by:
- Talking to them about their relationships. Make sure they are aware that conflict can impact on their children and that there is help available. There is a toolkit and training to help you have these conversations at: www.hertfordshire.gov.uk/betterrelationships
- Signposting them to self-help. Our Hertfordshire webpage has information for parents about relationships, and where to go for local and online help: www.hertfordshire.gov.uk/parentrelationships
- Referring them to specialist support if they need it. Any professional or volunteer working with a family in Hertfordshire can refer parents to the Parenting Togetherwww.parentingtogethersupportprogramme.org.uk
- programme. This provides free evidence-based parental conflict support to parents, whether they are together or separated. To find out more, go to:
Parents to Register at the Family Centre
The Family Centre Service is encouraging all parents of early years children to register at their Family Centre - please pass on this message to your families:
Being a parent is great, and it is full on! How many times this week have you had to do the ‘dash’ so you can make it to nursery or work on time? As with most things in life, a few great contacts who can always point you in the right direction can really reduce the stress during your child’s early years. The Family Centre Service is a joint Hertfordshire County Council and NHS run service which is one of those great contacts. Some parents attend our free and low cost fun events regularly, from Stay and Plays and Baby Massage to Forest School or Beginners Bikes. Some parents dip in occasionally when they want some advice or reassurance about things like speech and language development, introducing solid foods, child health or issues with sleep. Some parents join us for adult learning sessions such as Paediatric First Aid or parenting workshops. Most of all, Family Centres are a great way to meet other young families in your local area.
You can register with us now – just click on the link.
Free Antenatal Courses for Hertfordshire
Preparing for Baby is a 3 week course run by midwives, family support and health visitors.
To get the most out of the Preparing for Baby course you will need to register with the Family Centre Service. To do this, please go to www.hertsfamilycentres.org Family Centre Services specialise in early years and run a variety of activities for you to attend that will benefit you and your babies’ development and support your growing family.
Annual Health Checks - questionaire
Mental Ill Health - Peer Support Service
Gambling : A Big Deal
Gamcare - Services in Hertfordshire
The national charity GamCare recently presented at some of our district Families First Partnership meetings. Please see below for more information on their service:-
GamCare is an independent charity and we are the leading provider of information, advice and support for anyone affected by problem gambling across England, Scotland and Wales. We offer a wide menu of free, flexible and confidential support to those affected by problem gambling. Last year, we supported more than 9,000 people through our treatment services, and received around 30,000 calls to our Freephone Helpline.
Our team in Hertfordshire can support your clients to change their relationship with gambling and improve their quality of life through face to face, online and telephone therapeutic interventions. There is no wrong door to accessing our treatment services – clients can refer themselves, or you can do this on their behalf.
GamCare can offer:
- One to one telephone and live chat support, including brief interventions, through the National Gambling HelpLine on Freephone 0808 80 20 133 or via www.gamcare.org.uk (available 24 hours a day).
- One-to one face-to-face, online and telephone therapeutic support and treatment for people with gambling problems as well as family and friends who are impacted by gambling.
- Group based Gambling Recovery Courses delivered face to face or online for between six to eight weeks.
- GameChange – an online treatment course for those who are concerned about their gambling behaviour, supported by regular contact with a GamCare therapist. The course has been designed so clients can work at their own pace, wherever is most convenient, over the course of eight weeks: www.gamcare.org.uk/self-help/gamechange/
- Relapse Prevention support groups.
- Self-help resources for people who would like to change their relationship with gambling, available to download via www.gamcare.org.uk/self-help/self-help-resources/
- A moderated online Forum and daily online group chatrooms to enable those affected by gambling problems to connect with others in similar situations, share their experience and support one another.
If you have any questions or would like to talk through some of these options, you can contact your local team on 01438 487003 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. We are very happy to attend team briefings or training events to ensure your teams are confident to refer to our services.
We can also provide your team with more in-depth training to help you identify people who may be experiencing gambling-related harms, provide structured brief interventions and refer into the most appropriate services. This training would be provided free of charge. If you would like any more information, please email Candice Donn, Head of Clinical Services, at email@example.com
If you would also like to order free support leaflets and/or posters you can do this via our website at www.gamcare.org.uk/self-help/support-leaflets/
Best Start Herts - Facebook Page
Did you know that Hertfordshire has a Facebook page exclusively for Hertfordshire families? This page has been set up to provide key messages and support from pregnancy through the early years until your child starts school.
Follow us on Facebook @beststartinherts for daily updates and messages or scan the QR code below.
Volunteers Needed at Home Start
Home Start have asked if we can share this with families:-
Are you a mum, dad, grandparent or carer?
- Make a difference to the lives of parents and children
- Enhance your well-being
- Access free, high quality training
Make their early years count
Being a parent is hard for everyone; for some it can be overwhelming. Some of us have a fantastic support network of family and friends to help, some of us don’t.
With your knowledge and experience as a mum or dad, grandparent or carer, you could be the vital support a family needs and make a big difference to their lives.
If you could give as little as two hours a week to support a parent and their children, then please get in touch
Learning & development
HSCP Learning Hub
The HSCP Learning Hub is an important two-way feedback loop between front line practitioners and the Strategic Safeguarding Partnership/Board, ensuring learning on priority local issues is shared and acted on at all levels in a timely way.
Research in Practice is coming to Hertfordshire in Jan/Feb2020.
Don’t miss out on your chance to join colleagues from all the agencies and disciplines to discuss Transitional Safeguarding
For bookings please view flyer or click https://hscb.event-booking.org.uk/events-list?c=57
Caring Dads Course - NEWS
Caring Dads is devoted to ensuring the safety and well-being of children by working with fathers who are alleged to have abused or neglected their children or exposed them to abuse of their mothers
The next 17 week Caring Dads course will be somewhere in East Hertfordshire – anywhere from Hertford to Waltham Cross depending on finding a suitable venue - and will start around the end of February.
Apart from future Targeted Parenting funding which enables a course in Watford in the summer term and Stevenage over the autumn / winter term there is no further funding for Caring Dads.
If we are successful with funding applications we would hope to organise at least one more course next year – in Hatfield, Hemel or St Albans. The more referrals we have on our waiting list the better our chances of securing funding for a particular area.
So please send in referral - form available here
Please call 01727 854727 and ask for Joanna Emerson if you wish to discuss the Caring Dads programme.
Space Herts - Courses 2020
SPACE are pleased to announce that they have 3 training courses available for your consideration for your parent/carers/areas for 2020.
The courses are:
ADHD parent/carers skills building - licensed by the ADHD Foundation
Sleep Tight - Accredited by the Children's Sleep Charity
Navigating the SEND World - Copy righted and Intellectual property of SPACE
Techsafe - 3 Day App Camp
The optimum number of participants for each course is 15 attendees per course.
If you would like further information and/or costings for the above courses, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Supporting families in Hertfordshire
Autism • ADHD • Related Conditions
Safeguarding training individuals in organisations
The Hertfordshire Safeguarding Children Partnership, Hertfordshire Safeguarding Adults Board and the Hertfordshire Domestic Abuse Partnership are conducting a survey to establish the type/level of safeguarding training individuals in organisations have undertaken. The partnerships will use the important information taken from the survey to evaluate the level of safeguarding training taking place in organisations and assess levels of training on key safeguarding priorities which will enable the partners to make decisions on multi-agency training priorities for the coming three years.
Please could you complete the survey using the link provided (It will only take 5 minutes). The survey will remain open until 31st January.
Also, please share this will your teams and colleagues and encourage them to complete the survey.
Handy Hints for EHM
Always complete forms for registering as a new user for EHM or for registering a family for an FFA or Short-Term Work directly from the Families First Portal. These forms are regularly updated, and older forms may not include all the information we require to be able to complete registration. Families First Portal
There are several How to Guides on the Families First Portal that will guide you through every task you need to complete when you are the keyworker for an open Families First Episode. The guides are step by step and include screen shots to help you to check you are in the correct pathways within EHM. They are password protected and you will need to enter Hertfordshire when you want to access them. They can be found on the Families First Portal
In the documents within Families First Assessment and Early Help Module section. These are regularly updated as the system is upgraded so please only use the latest versions.
- Section B of Families First Assessment
Please remember that this part of the assessment is needs led, therefore you only answer yes to one of the sections if there is an identified need. There is room for you to record strengths or protective factors further on in the assessment within the outcomes section.
- Toggling within the Families First Assessment
It is essential that the “yes” “no” questions within section B of the Families First Assessment are toggled before you answer yes or no to any needs. This is because data is gathered from this area and we need to be clear that we are reporting the correct number of people with these level of needs within the correct age groups in Hertfordshire.
- If you have identified that a young person within the family is a young carer then you would need to toggle first, separate the young person before answering yes to them and giving detail of their caring role. You would answer No to remaining family members
- If you have identified that one of the parents within the family has some concerns around drug or alcohol misuse then you would need to toggle first, separate the parent before answering yes to that parent and giving details of the concerns. You would answer No to remaining family members.
A how to guide for Toggling are available on the Families First Portal.
When you want to add another practitioner to the Families First Episode as a TAF member or so that you can transfer the episode to them, you will need to update the consent statement. There is a How to Guide - Adding a TAF member to an open Families First Episode to guide through this process step by step.
At times you may see a General Note Alert appear in your work tray for a family that you are keyworker for. This will have been generated by our Customer Service Centre, Triage team or Families First Coordinators where a new concern has been raised by someone regarding a family you are working with/open FFA or short-term work. These teams record their work within general notes and the EHM system will automatically notify the keyworker by default. If you are concerns about an alert, please contact your local Families First Coordinator.
Keyworkers that are not a Hertfordshire County Council employee will not be expected to act upon this alert unless they are contacted directly via a telephone call or email from their local Families First Coordinators.
We would recommend that you remove these alerts from you work tray by clicking on the task and then clicking on alert completed.
Please note that once you close or transfer a Families First Episode these alerts will remain in your work tray until you complete them. You MUST complete alerts and you MUST NOT access the case once you have closed or transferred it.
A how to guide for Managing Your Work tray are available on the Families First Portal .
- Families First Practice Forums
Your Senior Families First Coordinators facilitate local Families First Practice Forums in every district every half term. These are free to attend and are for keyworkers, TAF members and local Practitioners supporting TAF through Families First Assessments, Graded Care Profile or Short-term work. Dates, venues and how to book a place can be found here Families First Practice Forums.
If you experience any difficulties with logging into EHM, please can you contact the Families First Helpdesk on 01438 737575 and report this immediately. If they are unable to help you to log- in, they will be able to report it to SERCO who will investigate.
The Families First Helpdesk can offer telephone support with all EHM queries relating to Families First Assessments or Short-Term Work. Please call 01438 737575. Open hours are Monday – Friday 91m – 5pm and Friday 9am – 4.30pm.
- Advice on concerns regarding a child/family, including open Families First Episodes
If you have any concerns about a child/family, including where there is an open Families First Assessment, you can discuss these concerns with your Senior Families First Coordinator who will be able to advise you about the correct next steps to take. This could include any changes in the family’s circumstances, escalation of needs, complex families, non-engagement, who to invite to a TAF, how to get our targeted and intensive teams involved etc.
Please contact your Senior or Families First Coordinator directly, do not call the Customer Service Centre with these concerns as this will cause a delay in the response to you.
Shadowing made simple!
Workforce Shadowing is an exciting opportunity to "spend a day in someone else’s shoes" and is open to the entire Families First partnership.
Accessing the Workforce Shadowing scheme has been simplified into 3 easy steps:
- Choose your shadowing opportunity from this list (on the Families First Portal)
- Simply send an email to FamiliesFirst.Shadowing@hertfordshire.gov.uk copying in your manager to indicate their support of your application
- Get shadowing!
Could your service host shadowing?
If you would like to offer a shadowing opportunity within your organisation:
- Nominate a contact in your team
- Email Shadowing@hertfordshire.gov.uk and we will be in touch.
Check your service is listed on the directory
We are currently undertaking an update of the public portal and we would like to encourage all partners to take the time to check your service is listed on the directory. We are aiming to refresh the landing page for the portal and promote widely to all Hertfordshire families and therefore it essential that it is correct and contains all relative services available.
If you know of a service that should be listed please email Jemma.Duffell@hertfordshire.gov.uk
Reminder to notify the Families First Helpdesk when you leave your Role
If you are registered to use EHM, all the details for you to access Early Help Module (EHM) including your email and job title will be connected. If you leave your role, we need to know so that we can deactivate that account on EHM.
In September we had 53 practitioners leave their roles and not notify us.
It is the responsibility of all managers to notify the Families First Helpdesk when a member of staff leaves their position. Please email details to email@example.com
If you leave your role and are going to be moving into a new role that requires you to have access to EHM, please ask your new manager to email us with your new details, so we can arrange for your account details to be changed.
Difference we're making
News from the Intensive Family Support Team - Watford & Three Rivers
Congratulations to Jill Howe for successfully completing the “Certificate for Tackling and Preventing Domestic and Sexual Violence/Abuse”. Jill has been our domestic abuse champion for a number of years and co-facilitated courses, including My Life, Caring Dads and Triple R. She is passionate about supporting victims of domestic abuse, both women and men, always advocating that men in particular are still reluctant to report abuse and often suffer in silence. Jill will continue to co-facilitate courses from Otley Family Centre and also offer 1-1 sessions with victims for our team’s families.
Well done Jill – we’re very proud of you!
Broxbourne Food Bank
We managed to make a small donation to the Broxbourne Foodbank just before Christmas from the sale of some Families First coffee cups.
Here’s a photo of Jeremy, who runs the Foodbank, and works tirelessly providing such a useful service. The Foodbank always welcome volunteers so please get in touch if you are in the Broxbourne area and would like to commit some of your time to volunteering.
As a young child, Carly’s family was plunged into tragedy by the suicide of her dad. Understandably this caused huge difficulties within the family. As she grew into a teenager, Carly was full of anger and her mental health began to deteriorate. Arguments with her mum began to escalate and there was constant conflict within their relationship. Carly’s younger sister, Anna, found herself getting very upset as the loud arguments erupted around her. Her brother James started to copy Carly’s aggressive behavior and the home became an impossible place for any of them to spend time together. Carly’s mum approached us for support and the hyh mediation team worked with the family for two spells of six weeks to resolve the conflict. Each time, this helped for a few months and Carly remained at home.
However, Carly’s problems took a turn for the worse when she was sexually abused by a family friend and her mum refused to believe her. By now, Carly had started taking drugs to help her escape the problems and her behaviour had become unmanageable. She was full of anger and most of it was directed at her mum. At 16, things came to a head when Carly was evicted by her mum who could no longer cope with her in the family home, particularly taking into account the effect on the younger siblings. hyh provided advice to Carly and accommodated her in one of our emergency Crashpad rooms at a supported hostel for an 8 week period over Christmas. Our Dual Diagnosis team continued to offer support to Carly with her drug and mental health issues. Once her temporary emergency stay came to an end, hyh arranged for Carly to live in a supported hostel where she maintained her tenancy for two years. During this time, incriminating photographs were found on her abuser’s phone and a lengthy court case was ongoing.
With the right support in place, after a period of time, Carly began to feel more settled in the hostel and accepted that she needed help to address her anger issues, drug dependency and mental health problems. With help from hyh, she applied for and was accepted onto a college course. After two years, she was allocated a brand new housing association property and, again, hyh were able to help. Carly’s support worker assisted her firstly to get hold of a postcode, then to set up utility bills, apply for a grant for a new washing machine and also to secure 1 year’s free connection to the internet which really helped her studies. hyh also arranged for Krav Maga self defence classes which Carly loved and she began to attend twice a week which really helped to develop her confidence. With the right help over the last four years, Carly is now much more settled and has built up her relationship again with her mum and her family. She is doing well at college and is almost unrecognizable from the angry and disorientated young person she was.
Christmas Crafts with CHEXS
Supporting Families and the Local Community to Reach their Goals
Christmas Crafts with CHEXS - a phenomenal response
CHEXS have delivered 14 FREE Christmas Craft sessions with our local schools.
We got crafty with 420 people, including: 241 Young people, 16 Pre-schoolers,
5 Grandparents and 158 Parents who took home some incredibly creative Christmassy creations.
L👀k out for our Spring Crafts starting 11th March!
Local area news
Families First in North Herts
WHBC Sports & Activities
For those working with families and young people we thought it would be useful to share with you some sport projects/activities which have been set up with Welwyn Hatfield BC in partnership with various organisations and will begin in the new year.
Ridgeway Academy School (WGC) - Thursday 7-8pm Starting 9 January (term time) until Easter
Free (ages 11-16 mixed)
Delivered by A-Z Basketball. Develop your skills and technique whilst having fun. No experience required. Spaces are limited – please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Ridgeway Academy School (WGC) - Thursday 7-8pm Starting 9 January (term time) until Easter
Free (ages 11-16 mixed)
Delivered by Stevenage Football Foundation. No experience required, turn up and play, develop your skills and techniques and play matches
Girls Kicks Session (football)
Ridgeway Academy (attimore hall) - Fridays 7-8pm
Free (8 - 19 Girls)
Delivered by Stevenage FF, no experience required, turn up and play, develop your skills and techniques and play matches
Girls Dance project
United Reform Church (WGC) -
Fridays 6.30 - 7.30 Starting 17th January to 14th February then 28th February to 3rd April
£1 (11-16 Girls)
Delivered by FK Dance academy. Hip hop and street dance. No experience required, just turn up.
Campus West (term 1) Roller city - Term 1 (beginners) staring 9th January - 13th February 4.30-5.30 must book online
£54 for 6 week course (ages 5+ mixed)
Delivered by ABC Skateboarding Term 1 (Beginner skaters) for skaters wanting to learn how to skateboard for the first time or improve quicker. All equipment is provided.
Book online www.abcskateboarding.co.uk
Term 2 – beginners and improvers – more info to follow in new year
Broxbourne: YC Hertfordshire - projects and programmes for young people
View details the projects, programmes and opportunities available to young people through YC Hertfordshire for this Autumn.
You can also find information on the Healthy Relationships Programme now open for referrals with delivery starting this month.
Also the Supporting You Emotional Wellbeing Programme is now open for referrals with delivery starting this month.
Also you can find out more about the Supporting You is a 7 week referral programme, aimed at young people aged 11-18yrs who are beginning to show very early signs of distress due to anxiety or low mood but who are not receiving support elsewhere such as CAMHS
Download a copy of the leaflet below:-
Agencies, families or young people can self-refer via the YC Hertfordshire website
Help with energy costs and caring responsibilities from Citizens Advice St Albans
Citizens Advice St Albans District provides advice and support to residents of St Albans and the wider district including Harpenden, Redbourn, Wheathampstead and London Colney. We want to help people who are being significantly disadvantaged by the cost of their energy. You can refer anyone who you think could do with our energy advice. We are keen to help vulnerable consumers who may fit some of the following criteria:
- Low income
- Pensionable age
- Long-term health condition
- Family with child dependants
Our specialist advisers help people get the best deal on their energy, deal with fuel debt, identify eligibility for thermal efficiency measures in the home and other benefits, and to access priority services for vulnerable consumers. You can refer people for one to one advice at our office in St Albans, or we are available to give talks and advice to groups. Topics covered are switching supplier, tariff or payment method, getting financial support and how to be more energy efficient in the home. We can also refer on to other advice areas such as debt and benefits.
For more information, or to refer a service user, please contact email@example.com or phone 01727 811118 and leave your contact details for a call back.
In parallel with our Energy projects, we are reaching out to carers of older people. This may be relevant in some of the families that you support. We provide one to one advice on matters such as applying for benefits (attendance allowance, carer’s allowance, blue badges and bus passes), powers of attorney, care home fees, equipment and home care, and household bills and maximising income.
To find out more, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 01727 811118 and leave your contact details for a call back.
For general information about Citizens Advice St Albans and our opening times, see our website www.castad.org.uk . You can also find useful information for supporting service users on the Citizens Advice website at www.citizensadvice.org.uk