Early Help and Prevention
Specialist Family Support Worker – Role Scope
Parental Mental Health (May 2018)

Direct work with families

The post holder will hold a caseload where there is a significant factor in the family’s identified needs relating to parental mental health. This work is likely to be more complex and challenging than the family work held by your family support worker colleagues.

There may be occasions were joint home visits are undertaken to support the lead professional with specific interventions.

Information, advice and guidance

This role is the ‘go to’ place for the provision of ‘information’ regarding low level and emerging mental health issues.

This centres on having a robust knowledge of resources and professional contacts to ‘sign-post’ EHP colleagues and the wider workforce. As part of this you would be able to support practitioners to explore ‘signs and symptoms’ and their own profession knowledge of parental mental health, to use relevant tools and resources and to understand any important pathways.

This role should be able to provide ‘advice’ regarding low level and emerging mental health issues. This centres on being able to outline options for EHP colleagues and the wider workforce in terms of next steps with a family, further exploration of issues and how & when to engage with relevant pathways. This said, it does not replace the need for prompt escalation to specialist services should the need arise.

Raising our profile across the City to develop our professional network, which could be done through some ‘quick wins’ at network meetings (i.e. issuing ‘Top Tips’).

There is no expectation that the post holder will provide ‘guidance’ on managing complex mental health issues or support the delivery of any clinical work. Where parents are accessing secondary medical care, the relevant qualified professional would manage this. This role is in no way considered to be an ‘adult mental health practitioner’ and would therefore not take responsibility for acute mental health issues. This said, where EHP staff are working with such parents, the post holder may be able to provide an appropriate place to discuss their understanding of the situation.

Team Around the Worker input

Developing professional relationships with key service providers across the city to ensure that there is a two-way understanding of both the Early Help and Prevention service and theirs. This will support both general inter-agency discussions and more robust joint working moving forward. This could be through semi-formal planned consultations or discussions, group advice sessions or through establishing ‘Topic Champions’.

In time, the delivery of relevant training for EHP colleagues and the wider workforce and potentially front-line workshops. This will need to be explored further as the role and needs of families develops.

The family lead professional will record case specific advice and actions agreed within EHP team on relevant family files.

Strategy input

Finding appropriate opportunities to link with relevant strategy working groups and plans (i.e. Health and Wellbeing).

Key Relationships

  • Adult mental health services
  • Health and Wellbeing Board