An evaluation of specialist health visitor interventions with children's social care
Authors: Rees, K. and Shailer, S.
Journal: Journal of Health Visiting
Publisher: Mark Allen Healthcare
This study aimed to evaluate the impact of specialist health visitor early interventions with families assessed as in need by children’s social care, and appraise the potential for enhanced partnership working through professional co-location. An action research methodology aligned with the Plan, Do, Study, Act model recommended by NHS Improvement was used to enable a critical analysis of the process outcomes and the qualitative and quantitative data sets gathered during service implementation. This innovative service development colocated a specialist health visitor in a child in need children’s social care team, who offered an intensive, tailor-made health visiting service to vulnerable families. Fifty per cent of the interventions were in the antenatal period and focused on promoting attachment and healthy attachment behaviours from parents. The evaluation demonstrated a de-escalation of child in need status, successful engagement of hard-to-reach families, the facilitation of attachment behaviours, improved parental mental health and enhanced parenting capacity and confidence. Professional partnership emerged alongside a shared philosophy of engagement.