Practitioners improving the outcomes of children and young people in Manchester are able to access free online training so they can consistently use Early Help Assessment tools, to identify emerging needs when a multi-agency response is required.
The Manchester Early Help Assessment Team and Me Learning have created an innovative package of online learning for any professionals working with children and young people across the city. The learning helps them understand how to apply the same criteria and use the tools available to determine what multi-agency support is required.
This pioneering move to use online learning to support the roll out of the Early Help Assessment is believed to be the first in England.
- More people have trained on the tools without incurring a cost to their organisation, encouraging adoption and a consistent and coordinated approach.
- Learners are able to remember information more quickly through the use of technology driven learning, minimising the time they spend away from the frontline.
- Learners are able to schedule learning at a time and in a place which suits them via a secure internet connection, making it easier to balance the training with other commitments.
- Training was able to continue during the pandemic despite lockdowns and social distancing restrictions.
The training is being promoted for use by any professional working to support children and young people in Manchester – in local authorities, schools, health or with the hundreds of voluntary sector organisations. It is CPD accredited and over 900 learners have enrolled over the past 2 years.
Jeff Burns, Early Help Programme Team Manager, Directorate for Children and Commissioning Services at Manchester City Council said:
“The sheer number of professionals working to support children, young people and their families here in Manchester means we needed to think creatively about how to roll out the Early Help Programme within reasonable timescales and budget. We wanted the maximum number of practitioners to have easy access to learning so they could become confident in using the tools as quickly as possible so online learning was by far the best option.
“When we teamed up with Me Learning, little did we know the pressures and challenges we would all face as a result of the pandemic and having online learning in place has helped keep the programme on track. I know from speaking to colleagues in other local authorities that we have managed to train more people, in less time and at less cost than many other councils because Me Learning has helped us to understand the art of the possible when it comes to using technology to drive learning for frontline professionals who are time-poor and highly committed to doing what’s right for the children and young people in their care.”
The Early Help Assessment replaces the Common Assessment Framework (CAF) and is an early assessment and planning tool which facilitates coordinated multi-agency support. The tool enables professionals to identify the emerging needs of children and young people at risk of poor outcomes; it reduces duplication of assessment and improves involvement between agencies.
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