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Frontline resources

Image: Frontline Briefings

A series of publications aimed at frontline practitioners and managers who work with children and their families.

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Working effectively with men in families – including fathers in children's social care: Frontline Briefing (2017)

Published: Jul 2017

Working effectively with men in families – including fathers in children's social care: Frontline Briefing (2017)

This briefing focuses on including and working with fathers where children’s welfare or safety is a concern, and the practice issues raised by domestic abuse.

In particular, it reflects on practice messages from research in relation to three inter-related areas:

  • Early intervention
  • Family support
  • Child protection

The briefing should be read alongside the accompanying Frontline Tool: Working effectively with men in families – practice pointers for including fathers in children’s social care – where suggestions for practice are set out more extensively.

Aimed at: Child and family social workers and their frontline managers.

Number of pages: 20
Preview available
Product code: CH-FBR-010

Working effectively with men in families – practice pointers for including fathers in children's social care: Frontline Tool (2017)

Published: Jul 2017

Working effectively with men in families – practice pointers for including fathers in children's social care: Frontline Tool (2017)

'Fathers in child protection are rarely either "all bad" or "all good". Fathers are important to children, and (like mothers) most present a combination of positive and negative factors. Men and social workers need to recognise and work with this so that, wherever possible, children can stay safe and be involved with their fathers.' (Brandon et al, 2017)

This tool sets out key practice pointers to help include fathers in children’s social care and should be read alongside the accompanying Frontline Briefing: Working effectively with men in families – including fathers in children’s social care.

Aimed at: Child and family social workers and their frontline managers.

Number of pages: 12
Preview available
Product code: CH-FBT-017

Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD) – identifying and responding in practice with families: Frontline Briefing (2017)

Published: Jul 2017

Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD) – identifying and responding in practice with families: Frontline Briefing (2017)

Exposure to alcohol before birth can lead to development of Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASDs), the most important preventable cause of brain damage in children. Effects range from disabilities to damage which increases the risk of violent and criminal behaviour in later life. Many children, including those in care, are given multiple inaccurate diagnoses.

There is an urgent need to recognise prenatal alcohol exposure at an early stage and to develop pathways for diagnosis, assessment and support. This briefing introduces practitioners working with children and families to key research and practice surrounding FASDs, including:

  • What constitutes a dangerous level of alcohol intake during pregnancy.
  • The impact on the fetus, child and family at different stages of development.
  • How to identify and respond to FASDs, including appropriate referral.
  • Guidance on prevention and management.

Aimed at: Early help, targeted support and statutory services with children and families.

Number of pages: 20
Preview available
Product code: CH-FBT-010

Note on terminology: After much discussion with the author and peer reviewers we have used the spelling ‘fetal’ rather than ‘foetal’ throughout this publication. Fetal is the internationally agreed (including by the UK) diagnostic term used by those working within this field.

Building child and family resilience - boingboing's resilience approach in action: Frontline Briefing (2017)

Published: Apr 2017

Building child and family resilience - boingboing's resilience approach in action: Frontline Briefing (2017)

In recent research, the link between social deprivation and families’ involvement with child and family services has been made starkly evident. The Child Welfare Inequalities project has found that children in the most deprived ten per cent of neighbourhoods in the UK are at least ten times more likely to be in care than children in the least deprived ten per cent, and 24 times more likely to be on a child protection register.

This briefing seeks to build practice approaches to building resilience in the context of the social deprivation that is the experience of these families. It introduces a Resilience Framework and Tool developed by Angie Hart and collaborators at boingboing, a learning community of researchers, practitioners, students, parent carers and young people, who share a passion to tackle the problems that affect the most under-resourced children and families.

Aimed at: Practitioners engaged in direct work with children, young people and families, as well as supervisors and team managers of those engaged in direct work.

Number of pages: 20
Preview available

Young person-centred approaches in CSE - promoting participation and building self-efficacy: Frontline Briefing (2017)

Published: Feb 2017

Young person-centred approaches in CSE - promoting participation and building self-efficacy: Frontline Briefing (2017)

Enabling children and young people’s participation is a fundamental aspect of protecting them, amplifying their voices and challenging the cultures of silence in which abuse flourishes. This briefing builds on the findings and recommendations for effective service design and practice development highlighted within our Working effectively to address Child Sexual Exploitation: Evidence Scope (2015). It explores how to work with risk and the perceived ‘choices’ of young people affected by child sexual exploitation, in order to build resilience, self-efficacy and involve young people in decision-making about their care.

Accompanying the briefing is a checklist tool containing a set of questions and prompts to use when planning group-based participatory activities with young people affected by child sexual exploitation.

Please note. This resource was first published in July 2016. Please note that in 2017 the government issued an updated definition of child sexual exploitation to be used for the purposes of the statutory Working Together guidance. The new definition states that:

Child sexual exploitation is a form of child sexual abuse. It occurs where an individual or group takes advantage of an imbalance of power to coerce, manipulate or deceive a child or young person under the age of 18 into sexual activity (a) in exchange for something the victim needs or wants, and/or (b) the financial advantage or increased status of the perpetrator or facilitator. The victim may have been sexually exploited even if the sexual activity appears consensual. Child sexual exploitation does not always involve physical contact; it can also occur through the use of technology.
(Department for Education, 2017)

This new guidance was commissioned by the Department for Education and is based on a review of the evidence by the University of Bedfordshire and Research in Practice. The extended text is available as an open access resource - www.rip.org.uk/cse-practice-tool

The document should be read in conjunction with Working together to safeguard children: A guide to inter-agency working to safeguard and promote the welfare of children, which provides the statutory framework for responding to child sexual exploitation and all other forms of abuse - www.bit.do/working-together

Aimed at: Principal Social Workers, Heads of Service and service managers for children and families, practitioners in social work and youth offending, youth workers, advocacy and IRO services, residential home workers and foster carers, school welfare leads.

Number of pages: 24
Preview available.
Young person-centred approaches in CSE - promoting participation and building self-efficacy: Frontline Tool (2017)

Published: Feb 2017

Young person-centred approaches in CSE - promoting participation and building self-efficacy: Frontline Tool (2017)

Enabling children and young people’s participation is a fundamental aspect of protecting them, amplifying their voices and challenging the cultures of silence in which abuse flourishes. This briefing builds on the findings and recommendations for effective service design and practice development highlighted within our Working effectively to address Child Sexual Exploitation: Evidence Scope (2015). It explores how to work with risk and the perceived ‘choices’ of young people affected by child sexual exploitation, in order to build resilience, self-efficacy and involve young people in decision-making about their care.

This tool accompanies the briefing. It is a checklist tool containing a set of questions and prompts to use when planning group-based participatory activities with young people affected by child sexual exploitation.

Please note. This resource was first published in July 2016. Please note that in 2017 the government issued an updated definition of child sexual exploitation to be used for the purposes of the statutory Working Together guidance. The new definition states that:

Child sexual exploitation is a form of child sexual abuse. It occurs where an individual or group takes advantage of an imbalance of power to coerce, manipulate or deceive a child or young person under the age of 18 into sexual activity (a) in exchange for something the victim needs or wants, and/or (b) the financial advantage or increased status of the perpetrator or facilitator. The victim may have been sexually exploited even if the sexual activity appears consensual. Child sexual exploitation does not always involve physical contact; it can also occur through the use of technology.
(Department for Education, 2017)

This new guidance was commissioned by the Department for Education and is based on a review of the evidence by the University of Bedfordshire and Research in Practice. The extended text is available as an open access resource - www.rip.org.uk/cse-practice-tool

The document should be read in conjunction with Working together to safeguard children: A guide to inter-agency working to safeguard and promote the welfare of children, which provides the statutory framework for responding to child sexual exploitation and all other forms of abuse - www.bit.do/working-together

Aimed at: Principal Social Workers, Heads of Service and service managers for children and families, practitioners in social work and youth offending, youth workers, advocacy and IRO services, residential home workers and foster carers, school welfare leads.

Number of pages: 6
Preview available.
Attachment in children and young people - key signs of attachment patterns or behaviours at different stages: Frontline Chart (2016)

Published: Nov 2016

Attachment in children and young people - key signs of attachment patterns or behaviours at different stages: Frontline Chart (2016)

This updated chart briefly summarises a range of attachment behaviours and how they may be observed. It describes some parenting styles associated with the most common attachment behaviours to help alert the need for more precise forms of assessment from an appropriately trained and accredited professional.
The chart accompanies the Attachment in children and young people: Frontline Briefing, published in April this year. It provides a grounding in attachment theory and different attachment behaviours. We recommend that colleagues use the chart alongside the full Frontline Briefing.

Aimed at: Frontline practitioners in child and family social work; family support workers and practitioners across early help; and education and health professionals who work with children, their parents and/or carers.

Number of pages: 4
Product code: CH-FBT-005
Communicating with children and young people with speech, language and communication needs and/or developmental delay: Frontline Briefing (2016)

Published: Jul 2016

Communicating with children and young people with speech, language and communication needs and/or developmental delay: Frontline Briefing (2016)

When working with children and young people with communication needs, as with all children, listening to their views, wishes and feelings is central to carrying out effective assessments. This resource supports frontline practitioners undertaking assessment in the context of safeguarding and child protection concerns or assessing needs more generally. It also contains guidance on how to work with adolescents to consider appropriate risk enablement.

Aimed at: Frontline social workers and family support workers, referral and assessment teams.

Number of pages: 20
Preview available.
Product code: CH-FBR-007
Team-Based Learning – Assessing parental capacity to change: Training Course

Published: Apr 2016

Team-Based Learning – Assessing parental capacity to change: Training Course

These resources were developed as part of a Research in Practice Change Project, and use the Team-Based Learning training method to support the delivery of a four-module course on Assessing parental capacity to change.

Training is delivered to whole teams, including managers, across four half-day sessions. The course is intended to increase understanding of how to assess parental capacity to change, support evidence-informed decision-making in relation to family interventions, and equip practitioners with the skills to communicate intervention results in court reports.

These resources are only available to Partners in the Research in Practice network. Training should be carried out with support from Research in Practice. Please contact your Account Manager to discuss options for delivery across your workforce.

If you are not a Partner of Research in Practice, please contact ask@rip.org.uk to discuss commissioning this training course for your organisation.

Violence in young people's relationships: Frontline Briefing (2016)

Published: Apr 2016

Violence in young people's relationships: Frontline Briefing (2016)

This briefing examines the prevalence and causes of violence and abuse in both adolescent and adolescent to parent relationships. It identifies common protective factors and makes recommendations for practice as well as helping practitioners understand how they might be able to negotiate the tensions in working with young people who are both vulnerable and perpetrating violence. The briefing is accompanied by a summary of recommendations for engaging with young people experiencing relationship abuse, developed by SafeLives.

Aimed at: Practitioners and team managers working with young people across universal, early help, targeted support and statutory services.

Number of pages: 20
Preview available.
Product code: CH-FBR-006
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