Duty & Assessments

Providing outcomes-based front door services, supporting long-term improvement

ICS Assessment Services have been providing front door Children’s Services since 2016.  We help Local Authorities to take a pro-active approach to their capacity and performance challenges at the front door, including high social work caseloads, changes in management, poor inspection results and capacity to support service re-design and transformation.

We relieve pressure from the Duty Teams by reducing social worker caseloads and improving and maintaining the quality and timeliness of work within the services.  Our Front Door support service is based on working with a cohort of children specified by the Local Authority – we progress all cases to the point of step-up/step-down or closure, according to Level of Need, within an agreed time period.

How we work

Our work focuses on managing demand by effectively working with multi-agency partners to share information, identify Early Help opportunities and managing strengths and risk for the children and their families.  We have completed Single Assessments, Strategy Discussions and progressed casework for over 3,000 children and their families in the last 4 years, to ensure they have voice with an appropriate plan in place for the next stage of their journey.

Our approach

We operate on a cyclical duty model and embed our services within your teams to ensure that we pick up cases in a timely manner.  All our work is allocated within 24 hrs, with management direction and supervision for each case.  Caseloads are strictly managed with expectations for turnaround of casework built into our model.  This is a cornerstone in establishing expectations of timeliness for the children and families that we work with.
Our flexible approach deploys multi-disciplinary teams – a range of practitioners with experience of neglect, exploitation, substance misuse, mental ill health and domestic violence, for children and the adults that are close to them.  Our teams, co-located whether they are in Duty & Assessment, Long-Term CIN/CP or Adoption Services offers the best environment for peer review and case discussion which can offer the biggest advances in the journey for children and families.

“Their (ICS) Head of Service worked well with us in establishing a Project Team including a highly experienced Team Manager and Social Workers. They were able to hit the ground running as they were undaunted by system and process issues as they had worked in a number of settings.

They were efficient and effective in their work and the quality of their social work practice was acknowledged by Ofsted in a focused visit.  I have no hesitation in recommending their service.”

Executive Director of Children’s Services, North East Local Authority