The National Children’s Bureau (NCB) toolkit, designed for professionals involved in the planning and/or delivery of the current development reviews and concerned with early intervention, provides advice on some of the key factors local areas may need to consider in designing and delivering integrated reviews from September 2015.
It also includes information on assessment tools, staffing and possible formats.
The resource follows publication of the charity’s report on findings from the pilot phase of the Integrated Review, commissioned by the Department of Health and Department for Education.
The toolkit also outlines what areas need to be in place to ensure reviews are successful and can support improved responses to children’s needs, such as relevant IT and protocols for information sharing, and the availability of sufficient services to respond to identified needs.
However, it highlights that there is no ‘one size fits all model’ for effective reviews and that there are benefits in developing approaches that take into account local needs.
Within the toolkit are examples of two approaches used by the pilot sites. One approach suggests co-ordinating single Integrated Review meetings in which health and early years professionals, childcare and parents all come together. The other, retaining two separate meetings and achieving integration via information sharing and joined-up responses to needs, before, during and after the individual review sessions.
Anna Feuchtwang, chief executive of the NCB, said, ‘It is not only a matter of health and early education professionals coming together to review a child’s progress. An integrated review needs to fully involve and include the views of parents, who have in-depth knowledge of their child. If any issues are identified, it is then essential that the appropriate services are in place so that young children can get the early intervention they need straight away, well before school starting age’.