Press Release

News in Neath Port Talbot

Plans to insource key service almost complete

16 March 2017

Neath Port Talbot Council is making final preparations to insource a key service that supports children and families.

From Monday 3rd April, the Family Action Support Team (FAST) will be located in Neath Civic Centre as part of the Council’s Children and Young People Services provision.  The move coincides with the expiration on 31st March of a contract with Action For Children to provide a number of family support services including FAST.

FAST supports children and young people with the most complex needs to remain safely with their families. The support includes a Rapid Response Service for immediate short term crisis intervention, a Re-unification Service to place young people into care while provision is made to place them back safely with their families and Family Outreach to provide longer term, practical support to vulnerable parents.

There are a number of benefits associated with insourcing the team. These include streamlining management systems and providing a more joined up and responsive service, since staff who refer children and families into FAST and those who provide the service will be based in the same office and sharing the same information sources. This will also see an end to paper referral forms, resulting in information being more consistent and secure.

As part of the plan, 14 members of staff will transfer to the Council under the Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) (TUPE) Regulations 2006. This provides another advantage in terms of continuity so that children and families currently receiving support can continue to do so from the same FAST workers that they know and trust.
 
Nick Jarman, the Council’s Director of Social Services, Health and Housing explained:

“FAST provided a valuable service whilst part of Action For Children. However, the current model of support was developed over a decade ago and its effectiveness has diminished as the needs and expectations of people requiring this type of support have changed.

“The expiration of the contract presented opportunities to review the provision to provide a more holistic support service by bringing the team in-house. The decision to do this was made after careful examination of all available options on the sole test of what works best.

“Once the FAST staff have settled into their new surroundings, the next step will be to progress our plans to establish clinical support within the team. This will include a child psychologist and a play therapist to improve the emotional well-being services available to children and young people.”