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Think Family

Think Family means securing better outcomes for adults, children and families by coordinating the support and delivery of services from all organisations.

‘Think Family’ in safeguarding refers to the collaborative approach outlined in the Working Together 2023 and the Care Act 2014.
It emphasises the importance of considering the needs and well-being of all family members whether it is a child or adult with care and support needs that you are providing support to.
This approach encourages professionals to work collaboratively, share information, and coordinate interventions to ensure that the needs of the entire family are addressed appropriately.

By adopting a ‘Think Family’ approach, safeguarding efforts can be more comprehensive, person-centered, and effective in promoting positive outcomes for all involved.

  • Step one: Think family.
  • Step two: Get the whole picture.
  • Step three: Make a plan that works for everyone.
  • Step four: Check it’s working for the whole family.

Adults’ and children’s services should take into account family circumstances and responsibilities. Practitioners are encouraged to:

  • Consider the needs of the whole family and be responsive to those needs.
  • Consider all the factors of everyone in the home and frequent visitors, including things like poverty, use of drugs, alcohol, domestic abuse and mental ill health, which may impact upon all the family.

Family-related questions should be embedded in processes at first contact and subsequently, such as:

  • Who else lives in your house?
  • Who helps with your support and who else is important in your life?
  • Is there anyone that you provide support or care for?
  • Is there a child in the family (including stepchildren, children of partners or extended family)
  • Does any parent need support in their parenting role?

Tailored and family-centred packages of support should be offered to all families who need support.
This would include those families who are already experiencing complex and ongoing problems, but also those who might benefit from a co-ordinated intervention to prevent the escalation of risks. Evidence from local good practice and pilot programmes suggests that a tailored, family centred approach can achieve impressive results.

In Dudley there is a joint protocol in place between children and adult services that makes clear where responsibilities lie and how services work.

For referrals for assessment for care and support for adults or to make an adult safeguarding alert please visit the Dudley Adults Portal.

For referrals to support children and families, please use the Dudley Support Level Guidance and Framework for further guidance.