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Learning from the Past

Partnerships for Progress (PfP) and our Bridgend residential family centre was historically called Family Crosspoint.

In this previous set-up, the centre had to close to admissions in October 2020 following an inspection by Care Inspectorate Wales.  This highlighted a number of areas of improvement that were required and an Improvement Notice was issued to the organisation.

The Board assembled a project team to undertake a wider investigation into what went wrong, to listen to external stakeholders’ views and identify how best to improve the service.

We have learned many lessons from this and our future practice will be more effective because it has not only addressed the specific issues arising, and the underlying causes of these, but taken the opportunity to enhance the service model and supporting policies and procedures.

With a new management team in place, we have been meeting with stakeholders to discuss concerns raised about past practices, to explore ways of improving our service and, more recently, to share the changes that have been implemented as a result of the feedback and reviews.   This includes the decision to change our name to Partnerships for Progress to better reflect a renewed Service Model and fresh Statement of Purpose.

The CIW approved we could reaccept admissions in October 2021 following all the work we have done to improve our services.   Some of the improvements PfP has made during this year are shared in the table below.

Learning from the past; stronger for our future

As the new leadership team of PfP, we are committed to having the most positive potential impact from Wales’ first residential family centre.  It is a much needed service.

As a new leadership team, we acknowledge the organisation’s past, value the lessons we have learned and recognise our services will be stronger for the future as a result.

We want to thank the many stakeholders – including the ongoing staff team – for their support on this journey.

We look forward to working with you to support families in our new service, Ty Seren.

An Open Culture

  • A culture, which is open, collaborative and actively seeks the input and involvement of families, statutory representatives and other stakeholders to achieve our services’ mission and core objectives.
  • This includes the provision of timely feedback to families in order to promote opportunities for change.

A Change in Leadership

  • Two new executive directors, including a new Responsible Individual, appointed following the departure of the previous Managing Director.
  • A new Registered Manager.
  • The creation of an internal Multi-Disciplinary Team including the new roles of an internal Health Visitor and Parenting Assessment Coordinator.
  • A new HR Officer and Service Coordinator.

Increased Board Oversight

  • Following a board governance session and regulatory training, the introduction of mechanisms to ensure the Board has improved informal and formal reporting including sharing a summary of all complaints and incidents.
  • Two additional non-executives have been appointed and will individually attend a new quarterly Quality Panel.
  • A non-executive board member has met with the team and highlighted how staff can raise concerns with the Board.

Revised Service Model that includes

A new Statement of Purpose demonstrating our clear focus on our two core Objectives:

  • Help parent(s) improve their skills, confidence and behaviours such that children have the best possible chance to stay in their parents’ care.
  • To provide robust and effective parenting assessments so the best possible determination can be made by statutory bodies and courts of what is in each child’s best interests (particularly from a safeguarding perspective)

Parenting Assessments that are integral to the placement and provided by a PfP social worker

A collaborative approach with the parent(s), external stakeholders, MDT and staff team to ensure all parties are aware of how the placement is going, any issues that have arisen and that there is a common understanding of positives and areas of ongoing focus.

Parents are given regular, more formal feedback about the progress of the placement and their assessment. This includes:

  • Debrief/safety sessions to discuss safeguarding issues
  • Reading, and discussing, their weekly Placement Update, before they are shared with the PLA to enable the parents’ perspective to be included (in their own words should they choose to do so).

To provide clear structure and direction to placement, we have a 5 stage model, which unless otherwise agreed with the Placing Local Authority and in the family in their Personal Plan. See What We Do for more information.

Strengthened Safeguarding Procedures

  • Policies, procedures and training relating to safeguarding children and adults at risk have been overhauled and a significant amount of work has been undertaken to ensure PfP’s ability to identify and respond to concerns is effective.
  • This includes the complete review of our family and centre risk assessments, the procedures and training for staff in responding to a safeguarding concern, our use of CCTV (see below), our response to missing persons and the introduction of an internal health visitor to the team.

Revised CCTV Approach

  • CCTV monitoring of a family will be undertaken on a one to one basis (i.e. one member of staff will be allocated to watch only one family at the same time).
  • In line with regulations, the use of CCTV will be proportionate and limited to agreed assessment and monitoring purposes, which will change as individuals make progress within the placement.
  • See CCTV for more information on our use of CCTV and audio.

Improved Recruitment and HR practices

  • We have a new HR Officer, who is being supported by a central HR function and other HR executives that work for our founder.
  • We have improved checklists for ensuring we can demonstrate compliance with relevant regulatory requirements and good practice (e.g. two written references, documenting any gaps in employment, verification of references).
  • During 2021, we are reassessing our remaining HR policies, procedures and documentation to ensure they are not only robust with regard to regulations and HR good practice, but fully take account of the first, second and third lines of defence approach to governance we have introduced.

A Staffing Structure that is Fit for Purpose

  • We have introduced bandings linked to competency assessments for Family Support Workers.
  • Workshops will only be delivered by staff trained and assessed as competent to provide them.
  • We have created an internal multi-disciplinary team to review each family’s progress  and to support the staff team’s development.

Reviewed the Competency of the Staff Team

  • PfP has created a new staff team structure, re-interviewed all existing staff and provided a significant amount of external and internal training over recent months.

A Robust Pre-Admissions Process

  • PfP has revised its admissions criteria (for example not providing support to older children).
  • All assessments of potential referrals will be undertaken by our Social Worker, Manager and/or Deputy Manager, with the support of the MDT and our Service Coordinator.
  • We have introduced robust preadmission assessments including consideration of the compatibility of all current and prospective residents’ needs.

Improvements in the Physical Environment

Ty Seren now benefits from:

  • The installation of air-conditioning.
  • The CCTV system having been relocated to create more space for 1:1 CCTV monitoring.
  • A more homely feel throughout (which will continue to be a focus of further improvement in 2022).

Revised Policies, Procedures and Documentation including

We have redesigned our policies with the format clearly linked to Statutory Guidance, relevant aspects of the Code of Professional Practice and procedural elements moved into separate linked procedures.

Ensuring significant improvements have been made in areas including:

  • Referral, Admission, Assessment and Care Planning
  • Supervision, Training and Induction
  • Quality Assurance and the regular review of our activities
  • The fit between undertaking activities and an assessment of competency to do so
  • Development and review of the Personal Plan, Family and Centre Risk Assessments and the Provider Assessment
  • Safeguarding
  • Missing Persons
  • CCTV
  • Whistleblowing
  • Recruitment
  • Complaints
  • Incidents
  • Notifications
  • Development and review of Risk Assessments
  • Board and Management review – including reporting

Improved Quality Management System

  • PfP has redesigned its entire quality management system.
  • This includes introducing a 3 lines of defence methodology to review and improve the quality of care.
  • We have also developed revised procedures to ensure reporting to board, and notifications externally, are accurate, complete and timely.

Adopting an Outcomes-focused Approach

We expect to be judged on the

  • Quality of the service we provide (including our collaboration with others);
  • Extent to which this meets the assessed needs of individuals as set out in the Statement of Purpose; and, most importantly
  • Outcomes that are achieved.

We will monitor our performance against agreed outcomes and take action to improve our approach should there be opportunities to improve our delivery.

A public commitment to work together to have more positive impact: Partnerships for Progress

As described above, the service has been transformed and we are excited about how we can work together with families and wider stakeholders to have a positive impact.

Our new name Partnerships for Progress reflects how integral partnerships are to the assisting the progress of each individual as well as continually helping us to progress as an organisation.