A simple model for meeting children and families’ needs

The Surrey Effective Support Windscreen

The model and windscreen is a simple way of developing a shared understanding and explaining the Surrey approach across all our services and partnerships, ensuring a consistent approach is applied by all.  The model illustrates how we will respond to the requirements of children and families across four levels of need (Universal, Early Help, Targeted Help and Specialist). The windscreen is a visual tool to help us share a common language to describe risk and needs.

We will work together with children and families to meet their additional needs and aim to prevent them escalating. We recognise that each child and family member is an individual, and each family is unique in its make-up, so reaching decisions about levels of needs and the best response requires discussion, reflection and professional judgement.

The windscreen cannot replace professional curiosity, judgement or decision making and should not be used as a checklist or an assessment of need.  The indicators of need are suggestions of the types of need a child and family may have.  Sometimes their needs may include indicators from each of the levels, however combined, they may cause additional strain on the family and following discussion with the family may indicate a higher level of support needed.  Equally, there may be family strengths that are mitigating factors for the indicators.

Families’ positions on the windscreen will change as their circumstances change and therefore will not be a fixed position.  All practitioners should consider which needs take priority when identifying the appropriate level.