Team around the family (TAF) is not an idea that is local to Torbay but a national way of working that has proven successful in many local authorities across the UK.
A TAF is made up from a group of multi-agency professionals who are working with a family to provide help and support for specific needs.
A family’s needs could be anything from an educational issue for one child, a health difficulty, financial issues and perhaps housing, which require more than one professional’s expertise. Through working with a TAF, support needs and difficulties can be addressed together to avoid things escalating out of control.
As a parent if you are worried about lots of aspects of your life, other things can become more difficult to manage and things can feel beyond your control and unmanageable. This is when through the support of a TAF parents can feel supported and enabled to manage things progressively, until all needs have been addressed.
Within a TAF a named professional will be identified, who is normally someone a family already knows and has a good relationship with. The professional then becomes the ‘Lead Professional’ providing advice, support and guidance to the family, while working closely with other agencies to create a single plan. With parents a Lead Professional helps coordinate services so things are addressed progressively without feeling overwhelming. The Lead Professional speaks to relevant professionals and organises an initial meeting so parents, young people (if they wish to be involved) and agencies can meet to develop a single plan. The family is supported to take part in this process and is consulted with throughout.
Once a TAF meeting has taken place and a single plan is created the family and the professionals involved will have joint responsibility for achieving outcomes to reduce the level of need and any potential difficulties within the family situation.
The TAF then continue to talk to each other regularly with the family continuously being involved to ensure things are ‘on track’ and the right support is in place at the right time.
Early Help training in the Lead Professional role and TAF working is available and can be accessed at Torbay Safeguarding Children Board Opens in a new window.