Lead professional and chairing

The lead professional supports those children and families with additional needs. They act as a single point of contact for a child and their family.

A lead professional should be agreed at the first team around the child meeting. Typically they are the person that has the most contact or the best relationship with the family. The parent/carer, child and/or young person should be asked at the first team around the child meeting who they would like to be the lead professional.

The role of the lead professional is to:

  • Act as the main point of contact for the child and their family
  • Support the child and their family in making choices and help guide them through the process
  • Ensure that they get appropriate interventions when needed, which are well planned, regularly reviewed and effectively delivered
  • Reduce overlap and inconsistency from other practitioners
  • Often escalate a case up to children's social care from the team around the child arena
  • Often co-ordinate the first team around the child meeting when a case is closed to children's social care and transferred down to a team around the child

It is not the responsibility of the lead professional to:

  • Complete all of the agreed actions
  • Continually chase practitioners to complete their actions

The lead professional and chairing roles are covered in the Early Help Assessment and TAF process training.

Salford Early Help Assessment team can support with chairing Team Around the Family meetings where:

  1. Cases are complex and cases are drifting
  2. The professional chairing is not confident in chairing for a variety of reasons
  3. There is a disagreement within the TAF meeting and an independent chair would be useful

An escalation meeting is required if a member of the Early Help team is involved with a family and there are concerns that the family’s needs or a child’s needs have escalated from level 2 to level 3 (in their opinion). On occasion, a TAF meeting may also be held as an escalation meeting or there could be a separate escalation meeting due to time restrictions. A team manager from Early Help will chair this meeting and a decision will be made as to whether to escalate the case to the Bridge Partnership or not as an outcome from that meeting. An escalation meeting has to take place in order for a case to be considered to be escalated to Children's Social Care.

This page was last updated on 15 October 2018

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