The Team around the Child approach is a model used for children with complex needs who require complex services.
The joining up of services requires a change in systems and a move away from traditional medical and social models of care to family centred support. This is based upon models of good practice in which the family’s needs, interests and motivations are placed at the centre. Aims are prioritised and co-ordinated to avoid overload and emotional and physical demands.
Each TAC will be individual to each child and family and the members of the team will vary in each instance.
Through selecting a keyworker families should expect co-ordinated support and appointments, joint planning and assessment and a single point of contact to support them through the system.
- Children will be identified through the multi-agency referral panel; at this point the child’s Consultant Paediatrician will be contacted for them to discuss with the family the TAC approach.
- If families, feel this approach is right for them they will be asked to give a first and second preference of a keyworker from those professionals who work with them on a regular basis.
- The Early Support administrator will then contact the named keyworker to establish if they themselves feel comfortable with being a keyworker.
The keyworker who is already known to the family will then make contact to discuss:
- Who should be members of the team including extended family members
- Record other professionals who do not see the family so frequently but provide vital support
- Who information can be shared with
- Looking at unmet needs
- The venue for TAC meetings
- Frequency and length of meetings
- Needs of child and siblings during TAC meetings
- The keyworker will arrange a TAC meeting at the venue agreed with the family. If meetings are to be held at the CDC, keyworkers must ask the administrator to book a room and check availability. Keyworkers will need to arrange their own administration.
- The make–up of the TAC team will alter as different professionals’ involvement changes and the needs of the individual child. These changes should be discussed at TAC meetings so that a smooth transition takes place and families have prior knowledge of the change.
- When a situation occurs for the keyworker to change this should be negotiated by the keyworker with the family. The family will once again be asked for their preference of keyworker; this should be discussed with the Early Support Co-ordinator. The transition period may take several months and key workers are asked to be flexible at this point.
- When the number of people involved with the child starts to reduce and if for several reviews there is less than three professionals involved on a regular basis, it will be appropriate to discontinue TAC meetings. At this stage this would be a positive step forward, however the keyworker should remain in that role to co-ordinate support for the family until a time were the family no longer require support. At this point a lead professional may be identified.