A vision for partnership working in Surrey

In Surrey, we all believe that every child should have the opportunity to reach their potential and that children are best supported to grow and achieve within their own families.

By working together, we will develop flexible services which are responsive to children’s and families’ needs and provide the right level of help at the right time. This will shift focus away from managing short-term crises, towards effective help and support for children, young people and their families at an earlier stage.

We are committed to the following principles which inform the way we work with children and families:

  • Promoting the welfare of children and protecting them from significant harm is at the centre of all we do;
  • Working together across the whole partnership, aligning our resources so we can best support families and do what needs to be done when it needs to be done;
  • Using motivational interviewing to engage with families, seeking their consent and agreement;
  • Working to families’ strengths – especially those of parents and carers and taking the time to understand their needs fully. Parents say they are motivated by having goals that reflect their family priorities and working with practitioners whose actions are driven by the needs of the child;
  • Focusing on solving problems before they escalate and offer flexible responsive support when and where it is required;
  • Building the resilience of families and communities to support each other;
  • Basing all that we do on evidence, both of what is needed and of what works;
  • Being clear and consistent and open about the outcomes we want to achieve, to make a positive difference.

Parents and carers are usually the best people to understand their child’s needs.  Asking for help should be seen as a sign of parents being responsible and not of failure. Parents say that support works well when they are respected and listened to by those working with them.

In the majority of cases, it should be the decision of the parents when to ask for help or advice but there are occasions when those working with children and families may need to assertively engage parents to help them to resolve problems before they become more serious.

There will be circumstances where children or young people themselves are also able to articulate what it is they need to help them and to give consent themselves.

Child in Surrey

All practitioners, need to work honestly and openly with families, discussing any needs with them using our strengths-based approach, ensuring that they are involved in decision-making. All families deserve openness, honesty and fairness from us.

Surrey’s Safeguarding Children Board will support individuals and organisations in Surrey by offering joint training and development opportunities.  This will help us to develop a confident workforce who can work in an open, non-judgemental way with families to enable them to make choices and changes so that children develop into resilient adults.