Parent Help is a peripatetic contact service primarily based near Kings Cross in London but will work in any area if this is financially viable. Their enhanced accreditation has taken place against the Child Contact Service Standards, therefore meaning that this service does not run from a fixed traditional contact centre, but instead offers contact in community locations based upon family need and risk assessments.
Whilst this is a first accreditation for this organisation, they are not inexperienced at delivering child contact and have a strong reputation within the local community. The service has been running for three years and is delivered by a qualified social worker who manages a team of people in other roles. They are experienced at delivering contact and parenting assessments for the local authority and parents can also self-refer. The organisation also regularly works with social work students on behalf of local universities which provides them with appropriate learning opportunities and enables the staff to benefit from the up-to-date knowledge, passion, and enthusiasm that students are bound to bring with them.
This service does not ordinarily work from an established centre, so therefore it has not been possible to assess the appropriateness of buildings etc. However, the centre knows the requirements placed upon it to ensure that diligent risk assessments have been completed in relation to the appropriateness of community locations to ensure the safety of children and young people. Staff allocated to families would usually be expected to work with a family throughout their time at the service.
The organisation has a website, which is clear and well-presented and contains a range of information about the organisation, the people running this and the range of services they offer.
When the service has accepted a referral, it will then undertake a pre-visit process which either takes place face-to-face or by phone. This is a chance to discuss the rules, agree expectations and allows them to record preferences for the visit. Contact agreements are signed at the pre-visit and help families to know what is expected to make sure that contact works well. Families are aware of what they can expect from the service and what to do should they be unsatisfied. Where possible, depending on the age of the child, the service will arrange a pre-visit for children so that they can meet the staff working with the service. This helps to alleviate any anxiety they may have.
This organisation is led by an experienced practitioner who is dedicated to their work in order to achieve the best for children and their families. All the systems are in place to enable them to deliver an outstanding service. Any recommended actions following the visit are now complete meaning the service meets the standards for enhanced (supervised) accreditation