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This document outlines the approaches and interventions that practitioners apply in the delivery of Early Help for families, young people and children across Cardiff. It outlines the approaches that underpin practice at every level, details the advice, support & interventions provided and the supplementary knowledge that all practitioners require.

2.1         Cardiff Family Advice & Support

  • Cardiff Family Gateway
  • Family Help Team
  • Family Help Disability Team
  • Support 4 Families

2.2         Primary Mental Health Practitioners

2.3         Police Community Support Officer

2.4         Flying Start

  • Enhanced Health Visiting
  • Flying Start Dietetics Team
  • Speech, Language and Communication
  • High quality childcare for 2-3 year olds
  • Flying Start Parenting Service
  • Workforce Development and Accredited Centre (WFDAC)

2.5         Childcare Offer for 3 and 4 year olds

2.6         Childcare Business Support

2.7         Cardiff Parenting Services

2.8         Cardiff Family Advice and Support Website

2.9         The Index for Children and Young People with Disabilities or Additional Needs

3.1          Signs of Safety

3.2         Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) and Trauma Informed Service

3.3         Child’s Rights Approach & Child Friendly City

3.4         Person Centred Approach

3.5         Thinking Together

4.1  Safeguarding

4.2 Attachment, Parenting and Family Relationships: Ensuring a Trauma Informed Service

4.3 Child Health and Development

4.4 Finance, Benefits and Housing

4.5 Mental Health and Well-being

4.6 Education and Childcare

5.1 Legislation

  • Well-being of Future Generations (Wales) Act 2015
  • Social Services & Well-being (Wales) Act 2014
  • UNCRC & Child’s Rights Approach
  • Rights of Children & Young Persons (Wales) Measure 2011
  • GDPR
  • Violence against Women, Domestic Abuse and Sexual Violence Act (Wales) 2015
  • Children Act 1989 & 2004
  • Additional Learning Needs and Educational Tribunal Act (2018)
  • Children (Abolition of Defence of Reasonable Punishment) (Wales) Act 2020

5.2 Early Help Delivery Partners

  • Cardiff and Vale Integrated Family Support Team
  • Families First Commissioned Services

Volunteer Based Family Support (Cardiff Home Start)

Family Well-being Service (Barnardos)

Youth Support Service (Cardiff Council)

Healthy Relationships Project (YMCA Cardiff)

Youth Information Service (PromoCymru)

Family Mediation Service for Young People (Llamau)

Cathays Youth Provision

Welfare Benefits Support (Cardiff Council)

Speech and Language (Cardiff and Vale Health Board)

Dietetics Support (Cardiff and Vale Health Board)

Details of reviews and approvals of the document can be found here.

1.0 Introduction

This document  outlines the approaches and interventions that practitioners apply in the delivery of Early Help for families, young people and children across Cardiff. It outlines the approaches that underpin practice at every level, details the advice, support & interventions provided and the supplementary knowledge that all practitioners require.

The Institute Of Public Care (IPC) Review for Cardiff (2018) indicated that there is a widespread understanding across the UK that effective early help and family support can help to reduce the number of children who experience poor outcomes through their childhood because they have experienced abuse, trauma, neglect or exploitation for longer than they needed to.

In this document, the areas of advice, support & intervention are organised under six themes of delivery, based on the evidence surrounding the impact of Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs).   A Public Health Wales ACE study in 2015 indicated that 1 in 7 adults living in Wales have experienced four or more ACEs and just under half have experienced at least one. Preventing ACEs in a single generation or reducing their impacts can benefit not only those children but also future generations in Wales.

The six themes for advice, support & intervention in this document are:

Safeguarding – Ensuring the safety and wellbeing of families, young people and children, ACES may include domestic violence, being the victim of abuse or exploitation (physical, sexual and/or emotional), being the victim of neglect (physical and emotional).

Attachment, Parenting & Family Relationships – Promoting secure attachments from birth. ACES may include parental abandonment through separation or divorce, a member of the household being in prison, relational trauma due to a parent not being able to meet the developing child’s needs.

Child Heath & Development – Ensuring that children and young people are physically healthy, mentally alert, emotionally sound, socially competent and ready to learn.

Finance, Benefits & Housing – Promoting financial stability and housing. ACES may include experiencing financial difficulty or potential homelessness due to a change in circumstances such as unemployment.

Mental Health & Wellbeing – Supporting pathways to good mental health and wellbeing. ACES may include a parent with a mental health condition, growing up in a household in which there are adults experiencing alcohol and drug use problems.

Education & Childcare – Providing access to quality childcare and supporting engagement with education and learning.

Within each of the six themes, information is provided on the underpinning knowledge required to inform delivery, advice, support and interventions to be delivered and the tools that can measure the impact of intervention and monitor the change process for individuals and families (See Cardiff Early Help Distance Travelled Framework for full details of tools to measure impact).  While the themes are listed individually, there is overlap between them.

A practitioners’ underpinning knowledge, training in, and understanding of, approaches is central to best practice.  The way practitioners frame or understand a situation will influence the planned response.  The IPC Review also outlines that early help is most effective when it includes attention to effective engagement of families in the change process and the proactive breaking down of barriers to participation, including being non-judgmental, active listening, and working on practical ‘quick wins’. Practitioners also need to be trained to deliver interventions which are relevant to their role and which are linked to family need.  Cardiff’s IPC Review outlines that early help is most effective when it includes services and interventions that draw on tested methodologies and are delivered with fidelity to specified methodologies.

A knowledge of local services and the processes within and across Cardiff are central to a practitioner’s ability to provide families, young people and children with the right level of support at the right time.

2.0 Cardiff Early Help

Cardiff Early Help is the name given to a collection of teams that offer a range of services for families, young people and children across Cardiff.

Cardiff Family Gateway

The Family Gateway is a clear, accessible referral route for anyone who has well-being concerns about a child or wants to learn more about the support available to families throughout Cardiff. The Gateway is a contact point for any professional, parent, child or young person and provides a clear pathway into other support services. It is the first point of contact for information, advice and assistance. The service complements existing provision already available from education and health services.

The Family Gateway provides information, advice and assistance on a wide range of topics and enquiry areas such as money advice, housing, welfare benefits, child behaviour, child care, school attendance, health and well-being, parental support and much more. The Family Gateway Contact Officers are available to listen to the situation, identify what support is best and help to access it.  Referrals with a clear safeguarding concern are directed to the Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH) where a social worker will make a decision regarding the service best placed to support the family.

The Family Gateway works alongside and refers directly into the Family Help, Family Help Disability and Support4Families teams when families need short term intervention or are facing more complex issues. Referrals to Cardiff Parenting Services are also made via the Family Gateway for those parents requiring support with improving parenting confidence and skill, building on parents understanding of their child’s behaviour and strengthening relationships, nurture, well-being and resilience.

The Family Gateway is also the access point for referrals to the Barnardo’s Family Wellbeing Service, for children and young people requiring young carer’s assessments and for the Flying Start Outreach provision.

Family Help Team

The Family Help team provides short term (typically 6-12 weeks), targeted interventions for families who, without help at this stage, are likely to require more intensive support or safeguarding in the future.

A Family Help Advisor will work with the family to undertake a holistic assessment of need, utilising the Signs of Safety framework. A Family Plan will be developed with clear wellbeing goals, reflecting the needs of the whole family to adopt a non-blaming approach and agreed by all family members.  The Family Help Advisor will support the family to achieve those goals, either by providing direct interventions, and/or by assisting the family to access other specialist services.  The Advisor will also establish contact with other professionals working with the family to allow them to contribute towards the assessment to ensure that the Family Plan reflects the support that those professionals are providing Distance travelled tools are utilised with the families to measure progress against the agreed plan and to show the family the progress they have made.

Family Help Disability Team

The Family Help Disability Team works in the same way as the Family Help team described above.   However, the primary need of the families that the team works with is in relation to a young person’s disability. A formal diagnosis isn’t required, however the young person will need to be under paediatric or consultant review.

Support 4 Families

Support 4 Families is the Children’s Services led part of Cardiff Family Advice and Support and bridges the gap between Early Help and statutory Safeguarding Teams. Support 4 Families works with families experiencing complex issues and service is made up of Social Workers and Family Support Workers, providing a highly versatile team to meet the needs of families.  The service completes proportionate assessments in line with the Signs of Safety model and uses a multi-agency holistic approach to deliver bespoke support packages to families.

Support 4 Families provides:

  • Information, advice and assistance for families who need to access them
  • Support and advice for professionals who work with families
  • Children’s Services Social Worker presence to provide assistance and advice in relation to safeguarding matters and whether a case should be escalated to statutory teams.

Primary Care Mental Health Specialist Practitioners are employed by the Health Authority to work within Early Help. This team offers consultations to colleagues to inform their work with children aged 5 – 17 years, to target mental health.  They also provide direct assessment and casework or referrals onto more specialist services.  This service was introduced in September 2020, using short-term transformation funding to targets areas such as:

  • Anxiety
  • Advice around ASD, ADHD, Tics and Tourettes
  • Behavioural problems
  • Bereavement
  • Depression and low mood
  • Drug and alcohol problems
  • Eating disorders
  • OCD
  • Low level self-harm and suicidal intent.

PMHSS do not provide an emergency response or an urgent response to children’s mental health difficulties. In these circumstances, families will be informed of GP services, Hospital Accident and Emergency services, the CAMHS Crisis team and the Secondary/Specialist CAMHS service.

Primary Mental Health Services are aimed at difficulties within the mild to moderate range to prevent deterioration and promote resilience in child, parent or carers.

PCSOs are employed to work with Early Help partners to ensure that families get the right help they need through Police and partners working together more effectively. Their role is to discuss with partners potential opportunities for intervention with children and families utilising a problem solving based approach.  Where a policing response is appropriate, PCSOs will carry out follow up visits to children and families with the relevant partner agency.

Flying Start is a Welsh Government programme aimed at Tackling Poverty.  It is targeted at families with children under 4 years of age living in disadvantaged areas of Wales.  The programme began in 2006 and almost 40,000 families access services across Wales.

Cardiff is the largest local authority in Wales and has over 4,500 Families eligible for Flying Start.  Cardiff Flying Start is run in partnership between Cardiff Council and Cardiff & Vale University Health Board (CAVUHB).


Enhanced Health Visiting

Health Visitors are qualified nurses/midwives with a specialist post-grad qualification in Health Visiting.  Health Visiting as a whole plays a vital role in improving the health chances of children.  Caseloads are reduced in Flying Start to increase effectiveness. Health Visitors support the early identification of need and submit early referrals to improve outcomes.


Health Visitors undertake the speech and language therapy screening using the WellComm tool with all children. The WellComm Toolkit is designed for use by all Early Years practitioners. The results provide clear targets for practitioners to work towards to supports children’s language development, as well as an extensive range of suggested activities to guide parents and practitioners towards helping the child meet their communication goals.


Working in partnership is essential for information sharing, reducing duplication and most importantly improving communication.  Community Nursery Nurses provide intensive bespoke interventions in the family home for a wide range of needs including play and stimulation, speech and language and behavioural interventions such as toilet training.  They also routinely provide home safety checks and advice.  Skill mix is utilised successfully within the health visiting teams with the addition of band 5 nurses who support the health visitors to deliver a seamless service to families, they deliver all aspects of the Flying Start core programme with the exception of safeguarding concerns which remain the responsibility of the health visitors.


There is a specialist Flying Start health visiting team supporting homeless families within hostels and temporary accommodation in the city.  There is also a named safeguarding nurse for the Flying Start service, along with a Practice Development Lead which ensures that all health staff are up to date with current practice and guidelines.


Flying Start Dietetics Team

The team of Dietitians and Dietetic support workers provide a range of services to support families to eat well inexpensively and help children have a healthy weight by the time they start school.  This is achieved through Agored Cymru accredited nutrition courses and our practical cooking course (Get Cooking). Staff training around food and nutrition provides the wider workforce with the knowledge and confidence to pass on consistent information to families and support them to eat well.


Working in partnership with the Health Visiting Service, the dietetic team provide resources and up to date evidenced based information on complementary feeding. The team also support Flying Start childcare settings with the provision of healthy snacks and drinks through the Gold Standard Healthy Snack Award (GSHSA).


Speech, Language and Communication

The Speech and Language Therapy (SLT) Team offer a universal and targeted service as well as offering training to the wider Flying Start teams and childcare settings. The SLT team links with other teams to ensure that positive communication messages are embedded throughout the Flying Start programme. This is achieved through offering advice, training, joint working and co–delivery of events. The team provides evidence based communication and interaction advice to families from the antenatal stage. This advice can be universal or bespoke and targeted.

High quality childcare for 2-3 year olds

Fully funded high quality childcare is available for eligible children with Flying Start Programme, they can access childcare for 2 ½ hours per day, 5 days per week.  There are 32 Flying Start Childcare Settings across the city of Cardiff, 5 of which are Welsh Medium. The Flying Start Placement Team allocate children to a Flying Start childcare provider and issue a formal offer of childcare to the family.



Flying Start childcare settings strive to have high quality staff, working in high quality environments that ultimately provide high quality learning opportunities for all children.  All Flying Start Childcare practitioners must be qualified to a Level 3 in Children’s Care, Play, Learning and Development (CCPLD) and Leaders are required to be qualified as a Level 5, this exceeds the minimum standards set out by the registration and inspectorate body, Care Inspectorate Wales (CIW). The Placements and Contracts Monitoring Officer and the Early Years Improvement Officer monitor settings to ensure they are meeting their contractual obligations.


All settings are supported by a link Advisory Teacher and Teaching Assistant who monitor and develop the quality and effectiveness of provision within the setting and the development of the children.  They also support settings with children’s transition from home to childcare setting and childcare setting to Local Authority Nursery and ensure that there is a strong link between childcare settings and schools that is supported by the strong links between Flying Start and the Education Directorate. The Advisory Team deliver training to all Flying Start childcare staff to ensure knowledge and practice is kept up to date.  Each settings is also allocated with a Placements Officer to support them with allocations of children and attendance record keeping/ monitoring.


The Flying Start Inclusion Team support and coordinate services for Flying Start children with additional needs, their families and childcare providers to ensure that children can access their entitlement to Flying Start Childcare. They work closely with the Disability and Early Years Inclusion Team and other professionals from health, education and the voluntary sector to support children and their families.  The team monitor and support Flying Start Childcare providers to ensure they successfully include Flying Start children with additional needs to enable them to access their entitlement and make progress.


Flying Start Parenting Service

See Cardiff Parenting Services below.


Workforce Development and Accredited Centre (WFDAC)

The role of the workforce development and accredited centre team is to commission, deliver and manage effective training programmes aimed at supporting the continuous professional development of different groups of professionals who work with children, young people and families. Our workforce is our most important resource and the induction and training that is provided through WFDAC ensures that our practice is reflective, current and evidence-based.

  • Childcare – Workforce Development offers training, advice and guidance to the non-maintained childcare sector within the Cardiff local authority. Training is aimed at Card Inspectorate Wales (CIW)-Registered childcare providers, as well as those looking to start their own registered childcare business. We offer training that covers both Legal & Regulatory requirements, as well as promoting the continuous professional development of childcare workers.
  • Early Help & Families First Services – Workforce Development plan and facilitate training courses for Early Help staff as well as those employed through Families First funded services. Training courses offered include a foundation training which is mandatory for all Early Help teams, as well as service specific training either for whole teams or individuals, in order to enhance practice.
  • Accredited Centre – The Accredited Centre provides opportunities for adult learners to gain knowledge and essential skills through parenting programmes from Entry Level 3 to Level 2. Parents engaging in our parenting programmes are offered the opportunity to gain accreditation while they complete the programme, through the completion and submission of a portfolio of work. Accredited courses include ‘Its Child’s Play’, ‘Parent Nurturing’ and ‘Get Cooking’. We also support staff development through the delivery and accreditation of the National Occupational Standards ‘Working with Parents and Carers’ level three qualification. This is open to any practitioner across Early Help working with families.

The Childcare Offer for Wales provides eligible working parents of 3 to 4 year olds with a combined total of 30 hours per week of Foundation Phase Nursery (FPN) education and funded childcare during term time, and 30 hours of funded childcare for 9 weeks outside of term time.  Eligible children will be able to access the childcare element of the Offer from the date their Foundation Phase Nursery education starts, up until the September following their fourth birthday, when they begin full-time education.

The Childcare Business Support Team offers support to existing and prospective childcare providers to help with the setting up of new childcare services, and to assist with improving the quality and sustainability of existing provision. The team offer support, advice and guidance around registration with CIW, policies and procedures, marketing and promotion, staff recruitment, income generation and grant applications. The Team are responsible for managing the Welsh Government’s Childcare and Play Grant, to support the development and sustainability of quality childcare. The Team also works with internal and external partner agencies to raise awareness of the contribution made by childcare to the anti-poverty, economic development and equalities agendas, and to identify opportunities for partnership working where childcare provision can maximise the positive outcomes delivered by these programmes.

Cardiff Parenting 0-18 and Flying Start Parenting are both part of Cardiff Parenting Services and are strategically managed by an educational psychologist. Both offer group and individual work with families.

The aim of Cardiff Parenting Services is to work in partnership with families living in Cardiff to improve parenting confidence and skills, build on parents’ understanding of the child/young person’s behaviour or development, strengthen relationships and nurture wellbeing and resilience.  The Parenting offer includes informal drop-in groups, formal evidence-based parenting programmes (with optional AGORED accreditation) and 1:1 psychology-led parenting.  The 1:1 psychology-led parenting teams has been recognised as a specialised parent-infant relationship team by the Parent-Infant Foundation.  The practitioners in this team have also achieved level 1 of the AIMH UK (Association of Infant Mental Health) IMH Competency Framework.

Cardiff Parenting work in partnership with parents to provide the resources to:​

  • Model play ideas for parent and child at home, promoting parent-child interaction & child development​
  • Build on use of Praise & Positive Discipline​
  • Learn about significant developments in the baby & teen brain and how these impact on behaviour and skill development​
  • Establish appropriate expectations of infant, child and teenager​
  • Plan and introduce increased independence for pre-teens & teens​
  • Learn how a parent can respond to help their child or young person with big emotions & behaviours (co-regulation)​
  • Promote positive changes in parent-child relationships, behaviour and child development.​

Trained Parenting Practitioners and Home Liaison Officers work with the parent/carer, on the needs identified and prioritised by the parent. An initial telephone consultation assesses whether the parent feels there is an aspect of their parenting they would like to change, or something about their child they would like to better understand, and whether they are currently able to implement changes with the practitioner’s support.  The team matches the parent with the most appropriate group or 1:1 programme, depending on parental need and age of their child/ren. Cardiff Parenting is a non-statutory service.​

The website provides an easy to use way of knowing what services are available to families in Cardiff in addition to the support available through Early Help.  The website provides Cardiff Family Advice and Support with an online presence.  It offers access to a range of useful contacts, information and advice for parents, carers, children and young people to self-help and offers professionals a clear referral route and a source of information to signpost families to.

The Index is Cardiff’s voluntary register for children and young people with disabilities or additional needs. Working alongside a range of support services and professionals, it ensures that families of children and young people with disabilities or additional needs are kept up to date with information that is both relevant and beneficial to them. In addition, it assists the planning and co-ordination of services supporting those children, young people and their families.

3.0 Approaches

Signs of Safety is an integrated framework for how to carry out child intervention work. It consists of the principles for practice; the disciplines for practitioners’ application of the approach; a range of tools for assessment and planning, decision making and engaging families, young people and children; and processes through which the work is undertaken with families, including partner agencies.

Assessment and planning tools are used for “mapping” the complicating factors, with the past harm and future danger summarised succinctly (worries).  The existing strengths and safety are also summarised, resulting in a plan for the family with the required safety measures that need to be put in place.

Signs of Safety provides professionals and practitioners in Cardiff with a shared language with which to discuss the strengths and needs of families, young people and children across Cardiff.

ACEs are stressful events occurring in childhood and an individual’s experience of trauma can affect every impact of an individual’s functioning, including physical, mental, behavioural and social.  For every 100 people in Wales, 50 have experienced one ACE, and 14 have experienced 4 or more. ACEs are complex, affecting all areas of society.  As such, Early Help involves professionals working together to facilitate changes in multiple areas of family life, including finance, parenting and family relationships, mental health and policing.

The impact of ACEs is intergenerational, and practitioners in Cardiff are provided with training to understand the impact that experiencing an increasing number of ACEs may have on a parent and their child/ren.  We can break the cycle of ACEs at any stage: it’s never too late. Preventing ACEs in a single generation or reducing their impacts can benefit not only those children but also future generations in Wales.

A Childs Rights Approach needs to underpin and inform the decisions made by all practitioners working as part of Cardiff Family Advice & Support.  A child rights approach is a principled and practical framework for working with children, grounded in the UNCRC, to help public bodies to integrate children’s rights into every aspect of decision-making, policy and practice.

A Children’s Rights Approach means that:

  • Organisations will prioritise children’s rights in their work with children and families to improve children’s lives.
  • All children are given opportunities to make the most of their talents and potential.
  • All children are given access to information and resources to enable them to take full advantage of their rights.
  • Children are provided meaningful opportunities to influence decisions about their lives
  • Authorities and individuals are accountable to children for decisions, and for outcomes that affect children’s lives.

Cardiff, alongside four other cities and communities in the UK, has been working with Unicef UK to gain international recognition as a UNICEF Child Friendly City. Cardiff’s Child Friendly Strategy was launched in 2018.  The strategy outlines the approach that we will take to build a Child Friendly Cardiff and sets out a shared vision for the city and identifies a clear set of goals and actions that the Council and its partners will deliver together. By focusing on these goals, the aim is to make a lasting difference in the areas that are a priority for children and young people.

There is a particular focus upon our most vulnerable children and young people, to ensure that we make rights a reality for all.  It places the rights and voices of children and young people at the heart of Cardiff’s policies, strategies and services; involving them in decision making and addressing the barriers which limit their life chances.  Creating Child Friendly Cities and Communities is about a genuine and enduring commitment to children’s rights. It’s about creating and sustaining places where the voices, needs, priorities and rights of children are an integral part of public policies, programmes and decisions.

The term ‘child friendly’ is therefore not just about baby-changing facilities and asking for children’s views on play equipment – although both are important. Child friendly initiatives are about bringing children and communities closer together.

It’s about supporting all children to be the best they can be and helping them engage actively with their communities. It is about valuing children, here and now, and working in partnership with communities to support and protect the most vulnerable children.

Cardiff’s IPC Review notes the growing evidence base that in an effective service, the quality of the key worker relationship with families is the factor most commonly cited as the difference between success and failure.

Being person-centred is about focusing care on the needs of the person rather than the needs of the service. By working in this way, it ensures that people are truly listened to and are kept at the heart of all decision-making, affecting how a services are commissioned, provided and organised.  It involves building quality relationships with service users and gaining an understanding of an individual’s strengths, what is important to and for individuals, in the planning of services and in decision making.  Services should be based on a clear understanding of the personal outcomes for the individual and what matters to them. The rights of the individual should be paramount to the approach and their best interests should always be central.

In addition to the theoretical framework of a Person Centred Approach which is embedded into practice, there are practical tools which practitioners will need to understand and apply when working in a person-centred way.

In addition to working with a ‘Person Centred’ approach, we also adopt a ‘whole family’ approach in order to offer support to all family members to recognise the importance of families working together and create a non-blaming approach and refrain from singling out a particular individual. In order for sustainable change to take place, it is evidence based that working together as a family unit creates further positive change.

Many of the families we work with in Cardiff Early Help are experience co-occurring difficulties (e.g. financial worries, housing issues, safeguarding concerns, difficulties with parenting, etc.) and attract the involvement of multiple teams or agencies who all have a desire to facilitate some type of positive change for the family.

Involvement from professionals often multiply in the face of such problems, so that a child, young person or family is approached by multiple workers, from different agencies within ‘the system’, who are often working towards different goals and using different models. This can be overwhelming and may actually be experienced as unhelpful by the child, young person or family despite the best intentions of practitioners. Failure to provide effective help, at the right time, is not only unhelpful for families but can also be costly to society (effective early intervention in conduct disorder alone is estimated to save £150,000 per child; Friedli, 2007).

‘Thinking Together’ (Bevington et al, 2017) is a tool that forms a part of a wider whole-team approach (AMBIT model), designed by practitioners at the Anna Freud Centre London, to develop better systems of care and support around people with complex and co-occurring difficulties. The AMBIT model is underpinned by psychological theories such as mentalisation, attachment theory and systemic ways of thinking. Here in Cardiff Early Help we have decided to pilot this particular tool to begin to facilitate a more joined up and collaborative approach to the way we work with families.  Professionals will all bring their own knowledge and expertise to the conversations which are framed within this model.

Thinking Together Conversations offers us a framework / structure for supportive and collaborative professional conversations to take place between two (or more) professionals from different teams/agencies/disciplines to explore thoughts, feelings and plans for casework.  Within the Thinking Together Conversations Framework, a range of practice and supervision models, familiar to the practitioners taking part in the conversation (e.g., Signs of Safety, COMOIRA, etc.), can be drawn on and applied.

The benefits of Thinking Together Conversations are twofold; as well as colleagues having the opportunity to learn from each other whilst thinking about a piece of casework, they also provide a possible alternative to referring families on to yet another agency which, as mentioned above, can feel overwhelming and unhelpful to families. If, however, a referral to another agency is felt to be a necessary as an outcome of the Thinking Together Conversations, then this can be made in a thoughtful and structured way.

These conversations therefore seek to help begin to make a shift from the dominant “Team around a child/YP/family” approach, towards a “Team around a Worker” approach – so that the wider Early Help team can focus on supporting the worker who has already successfully formed a secure and trusting relationship with the chid/young person/parent. See Cardiff Early Help Thinking Together Framework for full details.

4.0 Advice, Support and Interventions

Safeguarding is everyone’s business. All professionals/practitioners will be making decisions about identifying safeguarding concerns from the initial contact with a family to the end of any intervention. This will also include planning for the end of involvement with a family which may have an impact on the safety and wellbeing of children or vulnerable adult.

Underpinning knowledge required

All professionals/practitioners will require an understanding of how to safeguard the children and adults that they work with, and to safeguard themselves as practitioners.  They will need to feel confident in identifying signs of harm or abuse, be aware of their responsibilities if they have concerns about a child/adults welfare, understand the legal framework in which we are operating and the and multi-agency response to concerns about the safety of children.  An ability to identify children at risk of sexual or other forms of exploitation (e.g. criminal exploitation and county lines) and Young Carers and offer an assessment forms part of this knowledge.

All professionals/practitioners will be trained at a minimum Level 2/Advanced level with an option to be trained to Level 3.

Practitioners will need to be aware of the step up/step down process as well as referral routes into MASH (Multi Agency Safeguarding Hub) and FPOC (First Point of Contact).

All professionals/practitioners in Cardiff Family Advice & Support will need to access a level of training in relation to Violence against Women, Domestic Abuse and Sexual Violence Act (Wales) Act.

Advice, Support and Interventions to be delivered

The Family Gateway works alongside and refers directly into the Family Help, Family Help Disability and Support4Families teams when families need short term intervention or are facing more complex issues.   The Family Gateway is also the access point for referrals to the Barnardo’s Family Wellbeing Service, for children and young people requiring young carer’s assessments and for the Flying Start Outreach provision.

Family Help & Family Help Disability  follow the Signs of Safety approach to identify strengths, worries and develop an action plan. Any safeguarding concerns are  recorded and reported in line with the Council’s policy.

Support4Families is a Social Work led multidisciplinary team of professionals working together to find the right solution for the family, with a focus on families where there is imminent risk that, without support, they are likely to require safeguarding / care intervention.

Tools available for assessment and monitoring

  • Signs of Safety tools
  • Proportionate or Well-being Assessment
  • Wellbeing Assessment
  • Scaling
  • The National Outcomes Framework for people who need care and support and carers who need support (WG, 2019)

A strong emotional and physical attachment to at least one primary caregiver is critical to personal development.  Prolonged periods of stress that occur when a responsive and sensitive caregiver is absent (otherwise known as relational trauma) can significantly impact on a child’s ability to learn and develop.  These children are likely to achieve less in school and in the workplace, are more likely to engage in anti-social behaviour and are less healthy (both physically and mentally) than those who have had a better start in life.  This is likely to continue in an intergenerational cycle, if this cycle is not broken.

These difficulties can arise for many reasons e.g. difficulties during pregnancy and birth, childhood or parental illness, family stress, separation and loss.  Research has shown that having at least one secure attachment to an adult is the most significant protective factor to ameliorate the impact of ACES and build resilience in children and young people. The Early Intervention Foundation (EIF) has recently identified the importance of programmes which can improve attachment security.

In addition to the child-parent relationship, there are multiple family relationships and dynamics to consider e.g., siblings, partners and co-parents, blended families.

Through parenting positively and building meaningful relationships, parents can help raise healthy children, develop a more calm and peaceful household, with fewer arguments and conflicts. Research tells us that children who grow up with positive parenting are more likely to:

  • Do better at school
  • Have better relationships with family members and friends
  • Have higher self-esteem and confidence
  • Have fewer behavioural issues
  • Be able to manage their emotions better

Underpinning knowledge required

Practitioners will require training in how early attachment experiences influence brain development and behaviour, how to promote positive attachment between child and caregiver, how to talk to parents about attachment and its impact.  Practitioner will also be trained in the delivery of evidence based attachment and relational interventions to apply directly with families.

An understanding of family systems, and how individuals cannot be understood in isolation but rather as part of their family unit.

Training will be at varying levels, dependent on the different role held.

In understanding ACEs, the work practitioners complete can focus on helping a parent to acknowledge and address their own experiences, in order to increase their parenting capacity and reduce the negative impact on their child.  In addition, it is possible to work pro-actively to reduce the frequency of the occurrence of ACEs in the current population e.g. reduction in parental substance misuse, domestic violence, and work can be done to develop resilience and increase protective factors for children and young people growing up in Cardiff.

Advice, Support and Interventions to be delivered

Family Mediation – Family Mediation is a key tool for practitioners in working in the Cardiff Family Advice & Support. Family Mediation is an intervention that helps parents and adolescents where there has been a breakdown of communication within the home. It offers a safe space for families to talk openly and honestly to one another. Mediation workers work with both the parents and the young person, to guide the family through the presenting issues and get to the root problem.

Family Mediation is primarily used with adolescents (13 and upwards) and their families, however the intervention may incorporate all members of the household and wider family. It is a tool that can help families find the existing strengths they have, it builds resilience and seeks solutions to help deal with conflict. This in turn can reduce the overall stress within the home and help aid in a family’s functioning and ability to communicate. Family Mediation can prevent family breakdown and is a key intervention in preventing youth homelessness. It is also used in cases of parental separation and divorce, where plans around contact and finances need to be discussed and agreed upon.

Restorative approaches – is a communication approach for strengthening relationships, through repairing relationships and preventing and resolving conflict through addressing the needs of all involved. It gives all parties a voice and a way to move forward.

Solution Focused Brief Therapy (SFBT) – concentrates on finding solutions in the present time and exploring one’s hope for the future to find resolution. This method takes the approach that, you know what you need to do to improve your own life and, with the appropriate coaching and questioning, are capable of finding the best solutions.  SFBT can stand alone as a therapeutic intervention, or it can be used along with other therapy styles and treatments.  It is used to treat people of all ages and a variety of issues, including child behavioural problems, family dysfunction, domestic or child abuse, addiction, and relationship problems.

Watch, Wait & Wonder (WWW) – is a child led psychotherapeutic approach that specifically and directly uses the infant’s spontaneous activity in a free play format to enhance maternal sensitivity and responsiveness, the child’s sense of self and self-efficacy, emotion regulation, and the child-parent attachment relationship.  The approach provides space for the infant/child and parent to work through developmental and relational struggles through play.  Also central to the process is engaging the parent to be reflective about the child’s inner world of feelings, thoughts and desires, through which the parent recognises the separate self of the infant and gains an understanding of her own emotional responses to her child.  WWW is primarily suitable for young children (0-4 years) and their families, although it has been used with latency aged children and their parents quite effectively.

Motivational Interviewing – a counselling method that helps people resolve ambivalent feelings and insecurities to find the internal motivation they need to change their behaviour.  A practical, empathetic and short-term process takes into consideration how difficult it is to make life changes.  This intervention helps people become motivated to change the behaviours that are preventing them from making healthier choices.  It can also prepare individuals for further, more specific types of therapies. Research has shown that this intervention works well with individuals who start unmotivated or unprepared for change. Motivational interviewing is also appropriate for people who are angry or hostile.  They may not be ready to commit to change, but motivational interviewing can help them move through the emotional stages of change necessary to find their motivation.  The application of motivational interviewing techniques is considered a successful technique in Cardiff’s IPC Review.

Parenting. Give it Time.  – The Welsh Government have produced a number of information and advice sheets on tricky moments and behaviours, which practitioners can use to advise parents.

Primary Care Triple P – for 12-16 years. A series of 4 brief (15-30 minutes) 1:1 meetings to discuss any problems a parent is experiencing with their child or teenager’s behaviour. The trained practitioner can provide suggestions using DVD clips and Tip Sheets.

GroBrain – The Early Intervention Foundation has recently identified the importance of programmes which can address improved attachment security and improved child behavioural regulation.  GroBrain is run as a 5 week programme for expectant and new parents (with babies aged zero – 12 months), that explores the importance of the period from conception to the age of two when the vital foundations for lifelong health and wellbeing are laid.  Parents are encouraged to continue with the good things they are already doing while being given insight into the role they have to play in a babies’ brain development, enabling a strong motivation to make small significant changes to their parenting.

GroBrain explores:

  • How the brain works
  • Brain development in the womb — including the effects of substance use and diet, health problems and domestic violence and practical strategies to help with managing stress
  • How parent’s ‘wire up’ their baby’s brain – helping the brain grow. Attachment and the ‘thinking’ and ‘emotional’ brain.
  • Emotional regulation—the stress hormone cortisol and the part parents play in helping babies to calm and de stress
  • GroBrain is designed as 4-session programme; the 5th week provides opportunity for introduction to the course and includes baby massage.

The Family Links Parent Nurturing Programme is a 10-week programme that aims to help adults understand and manage feelings and behaviour and become more positive and nurturing in their relationships with children and each other.  It encourages an approach to relationships that gives children and adults an emotionally healthy start for their lives and learning.

American child psychologist Dr Stephen J Bavolek developed the Nurturing Programme in the 1970s. Bavolek researched dysfunctional and abusive family interactions; he identified four destructive parental behaviour patterns and developed the Nurturing Programme to counter these.

The Nurturing Programme has been awarded the CANparent Quality Mark, which ensures that organisations running universal parenting classes are evidence based, monitored and evaluated to improve parent / child relationships and to make a positive difference.

The Strengthening Families Programme 10-14 is designed for parents and their children aged between 10-14 years to attend together and is aimed at both universal and targeted levels of need.  The programme goals are to:

  • Enhance protective factors and reduce risk factors through delivery of core themes specifically related to issues experienced by all families with 10 to 14 year olds;
  • Help families communicate and increase confidence in parenting skills;
  • Help youth in the transition period and provide them with skills to prevent peer pressure;
  • Help parents set boundaries.
  • The success of the programme has been measured in a number of independent USA based RCTs, which indicated positive long-term outcomes including reduced substance use, aggression and hostility and improved school attendance and academics.


Parents Plus & Parents First – The psychology-led 1:1 based parenting services are for parents who would benefit from a bespoke, enhanced level of support in the three key areas of:

  • building secure attachments
  • enhancing positive behaviours
  • promoting children’s development.

Interventions are informed by psychology and are time limited to 6-10 weeks. The service makes use of counselling skills, solution focused approaches and motivational interviewing approaches to engage with families and apply psychological theory during our interventions to help parents make changes in the three key areas above.  The offer includes specialist parent-infant work with parents and children in the First 1000 days. Interventions are informed by the Infant Mental Health Framework and practitioners in this team have also achieved level 1 of the AIMH UK (Association of Infant Mental Health) IMH Competency Framework.

An intervention is formulated and supervised under the guidance of an Educational Psychologist and is carried out by highly skilled parenting practitioners.

Attachment/Relational parenting interventions focus on:

  • Helping parents to understanding early brain development, the effects of toxic stress and the importance of a secure attachment to build wellbeing and resilience in children.
  • Building secure attachments through attuned, sensitive and mind-minded parenting.
  • Helping parents to regulate their children’s behaviour.
  • Helping children to recover from relational trauma or ACEs
  • Behavioural parenting interventions focus on:
  • Understanding behaviour as communication.
  • Understanding the emotional source of problematic behaviours.
  • High levels of warmth and nurture alongside age appropriate behavioural management strategies.
  • Setting limits and problem solving.
  • Clear and consistent boundaries.
  • Promoting discipline alongside relational repair.
  • Developmental parenting interventions focus on:
  • Helping parents to play, interact and support their child in line with the child’s developmental stage (i.e., emotional, developmental and social age).

Teen Triple P – The Cardiff IPC review lists Triple P (0-16) as an example of an evidence-based early help programme addressing these needs relating to families with younger children.

Triple P Positive Parenting Programme is an evidence-based parenting programme which aims to give parents practical strategies to help them build healthy, strong relationships, confidently develop their child’s behaviour and emotional regulation, and prevent problems developing. Interventions can be delivered in a group or on a 1:1 basis for parents of children up to 12 years or 12 to 16 years of age. The intervention delivered will depend on family need:

  • Group – five group sessions and home practice with support from a practitioner.
  • Standard Triple P – 10 individual sessions with a practitioner where parents set their own goals and work out the changes they would like to see in their child’s behaviour.

Parents as Partners – Parents as Partners is a course to support couples or co-parents (not involved in court proceedings) in strengthening their relationship with each other, so they more able to face life’s ups and downs.  Parents as Partners has proven results in helping:

  • Improve relationship and communication with co-parents
  • Strengthen family relationships and improve child’s wellbeing and success
  • Manage the challenges and stress of family life
  • Reduce conflict in parental relationship

Groups of couples attend 16 weekly two-hour sessions delivered by male and female co-practitioners. Each group meeting begins with an open-ended check-in, followed by an agenda that focuses on one of the five aspects of life in the risk-protective model of family functioning.

  • Parents’ individual adaptation
  • Couple relationship quality
  • Relationship quality in parents’ families of origin
  • Quality of parents’ relationship with the child
  • Balance between life stressors and social supports

A component of the programme is that it seeks to improve children’s outcomes by improving the quality of inter-parental relationships.  It has evidence of a short-term positive impact on child outcomes from at least one rigorous evaluation.

Tools available for assessment and monitoring

  • Parent Problem Checklist (Dadds & Powell, 1991) – 16-item scale to assess inter-parental conflict over child-rearing.
  • Pianta’s Child-Parent relationship scale (Pianta, 1992) – 30 item scale designed to assess parents’ perceptions of their relationship with their child.
  • Karitane parenting Confidence Scale (Črnčec, Bryanne Barnett & Matthey, 2008) – 15 item questionnaire developed to assist in the support and development of parenting skills for parents of children 0-12 months of age.
  • The Parenting Scale (Arnold, O’Leary, Wolff, & Acker, 1993) – 30-item measure of dysfunctional discipline practices in parents.
  • Parenting Daily Hassles Scale (Crnic & Booth, 1991) – aims to assess the frequency and intensity/impact of 20 experiences that can be a ‘hassle’ to parents.
  • Parenting Sense of Competence Scale (Gibaud-Wallston & Wandersman, 1978) – 17-item self-report scale to examine parents’ anxiety, motivation, competence & problem solving.
  • Parenting Tasks Checklist (Sanders & Woolley, 2001) – 28 items are rated from 0 to 100, with high scores indicating greater confidence. There are two factors: Setting Self-efficacy and behavioural Self-efficacy.
  • Kansas Parenting satisfaction Scale (James et al, 1985).
  • Mothers Object Relations Scale & Baby MORS (Simkiss et al, 2013) – measures the quality of the parent-child relationship and has two dimensions of warmth and invasion.
  • WEMWBS (The Warwick-Edinburgh Mental Wellbeing Scales)
  • Child-Parent Relationship Scale 3-12 (Short Form)
  • Strengthening Families Programme Before and After Survey
  • Conflict Behaviour Questionnaire
  • TOPSE – A Tool to measure Parenting Self Efficacy
  • Family Attachment and Changeability Index 8 (FACI8) McCubbin, H.I, Thompson, A.I, Elver, McCubbin
  • Family Pressure Scale-Ethnic McCubbin, H., Thompson, P. and Elver, K.
  • Family Problem Solving Communication McCubbin, H.I, Thompson, A.I, Elver, McCubbin
  • Parent reflective functioning interview (PRFI) (Fonagay)
  • Systemic Clinical Outcome and Routine Evaluation SCORE-15

Child development refers to the changes that occur as a child grows and develops in relation to being physically healthy, mentally alert, emotionally sound, socially competent and ready to learn.

When a baby is born, the brain is very much unfinished.  A robust body of evidence highlights the vital role that sensitive and responsive parenting plays in ensuring optimal brain development and attachment security during this critical period.  We also know that the opposite is true. Although every child is unique, there are typical developmental patterns which can be expected in child and adolescent development.  The home environment plays a key role in supporting a child’s development.  The Early Intervention Foundation has recently identified the importance of programmes which can address improved attachment security and improved child behavioural regulation.

Underpinning knowledge required

An understanding of typical child development will provide all professionals/practitioners with an understanding of typical physical, emotional, social and psychological changes that occur from birth through to adolescence.  By understanding the typical sequences, it is possible to normalise behaviours that may be concurrent with certain stages of child development, to adapt interventions to the developmental stage of the child and to begin to understand what may be atypical development.

To complement this, an understanding of the services and pathways for children with disabilities or development that is atypical would be beneficial.

Advice, Support and Interventions to be delivered

Enhanced Heath Visiting – Flying Start Health Visitors deliver an enhanced core programme in addition to the Healthy Child Wales Programme (2015) to all families eligible in Cardiff. Health Visiting caseloads are reduced in Flying Start to increase effectiveness which results in more comprehensive and faster assessment of need, more effective referral to other support and more flexible and intensive support for families in the antenatal period and beyond. Health Visitors support the early identification of need and submit early referrals to improve outcomes.


Health Visitors complete specific assessments for early identification of need. The Wellcomm assessment is a toolkit designed to help identify children who might be experiencing delays with speech and language and is completed at 12 and 15 months of age as part of the Flying Start core programme, then again at 18 months as a targeted intervention if required. It can then help put immediate interventions into place while waiting for a more formal assessment, this would include referral to a Community Nursery Nurse.


Community Nursery Nurses provide intensive bespoke interventions in the family home for a wide range of issues including play and stimulation, speech and language and behavioural interventions such as toilet training, along with routinely providing home safety checks and advice. They are also involved in group delivery of specific areas such as baby massage and weaning parties known as “Food and Fun”.


The Assistant Practitioner for the Paediatric continence service (APPC) is a new role in Cardiff which focusses on early intervention and support to children and families regarding healthy bladder and bowels. The aim is to provide early intervention and support to children and families with toilet training and subsequently to increase the number of children entering nursery/ school fully toilet trained. As a result of this the long term aim is to reduce the number of children waiting for the Paediatric Continence Service and to reduce the long term morbidity for children.


The role of the health visiting team is also pivotal in promoting the pre-school immunisation schedule across the service aiming to increase the overall immunisation rate amongst pre-school children.


Flying Start Outreach – Although Flying Start is geographically targeted, local authorities receive a small element of ‘Outreach’ funding as part of their Flying Start grant to deliver elements of the programme to children across the wider local authority.  The Welsh government guidance states that Children in Wales, under 4 years of age can have access to all elements of Flying Start services, through Outreach funding, if they have an identified need and the resources are available. In Cardiff, the following have been identifies as being eligible for Flying Start Outreach:

  • Families with 0-3’s who live in homeless accommodation in Cardiff
  • Gypsy Traveller families with 0-3’s resident in Rover Way, Cardiff, will be offered the full Flying Start entitlement as far as it is practicable.
  • Teen Parents under 16 years.
  • Referrals will be considered for families who have been identified as high risk or vulnerable in the first 1000 days (See Flying Start Outreach Policy).


Flying Start Dietetics – The Dietetics team offer a range of interventions to support families to access a healthy, affordable, nutritious diet to benefit their health and wellbeing. These include AGORED Cymru accredited practical cookery and nutrition courses for families, and staff training around food and nutrition:

  • Get Cooking is a practical cooking course for mums, dads and carers, including activities and messages about healthy eating, food safety, minimising food waste and eating well on a budget. The course is delivered over 9 weeks with 2 hour weekly sessions.
  • Level 1 Community Food and Nutrition Skills is a course for mums, dads and carers, providing evidence based, accurate, and consistent information on food and nutrition to enable individuals to make healthy and sustainable food choices. The course is delivered over 5 weeks with 2 hour weekly sessions.
  • Level 2 Community Food and Nutrition Skills is a course for early help staff and external partners working with families, delivered over 5 weeks and 4 hour weekly sessions. It equips participants with the nutrition knowledge and skills to cascade evidence based, consistent food and nutrition messages to the community groups they work with. Completion of this course is a requirement for community nursery nurses who support in the delivery of some of our dietetic interventions, such as Get Cooking.
  • Staff training – An annual programme of nutrition training and update sessions are offered to health visitor and community nursery nurses to support delivery of the Healthy Child Wales Programme. The dietetic team also provide Little Cooks training to support staff in the delivery of the Little Cooks programme within Flying Start Stay and Play settings.
  • Level 2 Community Food and Nutrition Skills Early Years is a course to equip early years practitioners with the nutrition knowledge and skills to cascade evidence based, consistent food and nutrition messages to children and families, and improve food and drink provision in their setting. The course is delivered over 6 weeks with 2 hour weekly sessions. Attendance to this course is recommended as part of the Gold Standard Healthy Snack Award and is a requirement to achieve the Gold Standard Healthy Snack Award Plus.
  • The Cardiff Gold Standard Healthy Snack Award – is a scheme that all childcare settings within Flying Start are part of. It supports the provision of healthy snacks and drinks. Dietitians carry out visits to childcare settings to support them in achieving the award. The award is given to settings who meet the strict criteria around:
  • Healthy snacks and drinks
  • The environment children eat in
  • Good food hygiene
  • Promoting healthy eating through day-to-day activities


Flying Start Speech and Language – The Speech and Language Therapy team has written and supports training packages delivered by the Community Nursery Nurses. These sessions are delivered at critical points in the child’s development to promote a positive communication environment.


There is a clear pathway in place for referrals into the service from other teams. Referrals are primarily made by the Health Team and Childcare. The screening tool from The Wellcomm Toolkit is used to universally screen children at 12 and 15 and 18 months. This screen is carried out by the child’s Health Visitor. The child is then screened by their key worker during each term of childcare. Based on the results of The Wellcomm Screen children with mild to moderate communication delays are offered input by Community Nursery Nurses or by childcare staff. Children with moderate to severe communication delays are referred for targeted support by the FS SLT team. Parents are encouraged to self-refer into the service at any stage that they feel they would like advice or support. Once children are referred into the SLT team, they receive an initial assessment from one of the Speech and Language Therapists at a Communication Clinic. Following this they are the offered targeted and bespoke support or referred onto more appropriate services. This service is offered in the family home. The SLT will also support the childcare by providing specialist advice for children with more complex communication needs.


The Flying Start Inclusion Team work with, support and coordinate services for Flying Start children with additional needs, their families and childcare providers to ensure that children access their entitlement to Flying Start services with a smooth transition into settings/schools. They work closely with the Disability and Early Years Inclusion

Team and other professionals from health, education and the voluntary sector. The team monitor and support childcare providers and nurseries to successfully include Flying Start children with additional needs enabling them to access their entitlements, environment and make progress.


Mini Talkers, Mini Explorers is a 6 week course for parents/carers with toddlers up to the age of four. The programme is designed to support parents as they scaffold their child’s development through hands-on, fun, sensory activities. Over the 6 weeks, parent and child

will discover:

  • Different types of play that involve the 5senses
  • The importance of songs and rhymes
  • The importance of books and stories
  • Routines can be fun
  • Physical Play
  • Importance of talking to your child


It’s Child’s Play – An 8-week course for parents/carers of children between 18 months and 4 years of age full of hands on fun experiences to develop an understanding of how a child learns and develops through play. Over the 8 weeks parents:

  • Understand how play supports physical development
  • Understand how play supports emotional Well Being through books, stories and rhymes
  • Understand how play helps a child to develop their thinking skills.
  • Understand how play helps a child to develop language.
  • Understand how play supports speech and language development
  • Understand how playing with a child can help build relationships; show care and affection; and be fun for parents too.


Stay and Play (open access drop-in) – Stay & Play sessions are a chance for parents/carers get together and spend time playing with your children. It can be wonderful playing

together in your own home, and Stay & Play can add to that by offering you a place to

come together where you don’t have to worry about tidying up afterwards. Parents can enjoy playing too! Play allows children to use their creativity while developing their imagination and supports all areas of development; it is how children at a very early age make sense of the world around them. Share your little ones experiences by enjoying quality activities with them that encourage exploration through the senses.


Your Baby is Amazing – A small, intimate group run over 4 weeks for parents/carers and their baby, to learn about how face-to-face and tuning into a baby promotes their development.


Flying Start Speech and Language – Children with identified communication delays are offered assessment by an SLT in a clinic setting. Advice and intervention are offered as appropriate. This is home based and delivered via trained practitioners under the supervision of a Speech and Language Therapist. Alternatively, they may be offered intervention directly with an SLT or a Wellcomm intervention. Further bespoke input and advice may also be offered to the childcare staff supporting these identified children.

Primary Care Triple P –12-16 years. A series of 4 brief (15-30 minutes) 1:1 meetings over a 4-6 week period to discuss ways to manage common developmental issues or behaviours. The trained practitioner can provide suggestions using DVD clips and Tip Sheets.

GroBrain – GroBrain is run as a 5 week programme for expectant and new parents (with babies aged zero – 12 months), that explores the importance of the period from conception to the age of two when the vital foundations for lifelong health and wellbeing are laid.  Parents are encouraged to continue with the good things they are already doing while being given insight into the role they have to play in a babies’ brain development, enabling a strong motivation to make small significant changes to their parenting.


Parents Plus & Parents First are psychology-led 1:1 based parenting services for parents who would benefit from a bespoke, enhanced level of support in the three key areas of:

building secure attachments

enhancing positive behaviours

promoting children’s development.


The offer includes specialist parent-infant work with parents and children in the First 1000 days. Interventions are informed by the Infant Mental Health Framework and practitioners in this team have also achieved level 1 of the AIMH UK (Association of Infant Mental Health) IMH Competency Framework.

Tools available for assessment and monitoring

  • Strengths & Difficulties Questionnaire (Goodman) – a brief behavioural screening questionnaire about 3-16 year olds.
  • Eyberg Child Behaviour Inventory – designed for completion by parents and assesses the child’s or adolescent’s behaviour at home.
  • Sheffield Learning Disabilities Outcome Measure · Health of the Nation Outcome Scales for Children and Adolescents
  • Outcome Rating Scale (ORS), Children’s Outcome Rating Scale (CORS) and Young Child Outcome Rating Scale (YCORS)
  • Hawaii Early Learning Profile (HELP)
  • Children’s Global Assessment Scale
  • WellComm Toolkit

The stress of living in poverty or worrying about financial health, impacts families across Cardiff. Cardiff’s IPC Review notes the growing evidence base that rapid response for young people at risk of homelessness or entry into care includes an element of family mediation, practical support and access to appropriate accommodation or supported housing and other services.

Underpinning knowledge required

Professionals/practitioners need to be informed in order to help families navigate the benefits & finance systems within Cardiff.   This can help alleviate stress and increase a family’s capacity to engage in a future intervention.

Practitioners need to be trained at a Generalist Level (Advice with Guidance) in relation to the Welsh Government Information of Advice Quality Framework (IAQF).

Advice, Support and Interventions to be delivered

Possessing knowledge of national and local financial and housing systems and processes will enable practitioners to support parents with worries about feeding their family, paying bills and preventing homelessness. This will need to include (but is not exhaustive of):

  • Grant and Discounts – assisting service users in understanding eligibility criteria, completing online applications e.g., Welsh Water Assist.
  • Universal Credit/ Legacy Benefit – assisting service users in understanding the difference between the benefits, how to apply for UC, how to pay rent using benefits.
  • What to do with a negative benefit decision or sanction – assisting a service user to ask a decision maker to review a decision (mandatory re-consideration), signpost to Advice Line for specialist advice when formal appeals are required.
  • Food Benefits – signposting service users on the telephone to Hubs for Foodbank Vouchers or providing the Vouchers on home visits, advice on Free School Meals, SHEP, and Healthy Start Vouchers.
  • Disability Benefits – providing advice on Personal Independence Payment, Disability Living Allowance, Attendance Allowance, and Carers Allowance. Assisting service users making the call to request an application form and providing guidance on completing applications, or signposting to Hubs for assistance with the completion of longer forms.
  • Overview of Housing Solutions (social housing and private rented sector) – and signposting to Housing Solutions Team when an appointment is required.
  • Overview of homelessness support – providing initial advice and signposting to Housing Options Centre.
  • Budget management & debt (include an overview of rent / mortgage arrears) – signposting to Money Advice Officers based in Hubs, providing assistance with simple budgeting based on Money Advice Service good practice.
  • Overview of the benefit cap and schemes to help – providing advice about schemes to assist with shortfall e.g., Discretionary Housing Payments and how being in work or in receipt of Disability benefits removes the cap. Referrals to Into Work Service (referred via Gateway) to help with job seeking/ work readiness with a view to escaping the cap
  • Overview of Into Work Services – refer in via Gateway for assessment for a variety of projects.
  • Offering Advice line as a single point of contact for support for staff and service users.


Building Blocks (Save The Children) – Cardiff Early Helps teams are referral partners for Building Blocks.  Building Blocks grants allow families with a child under 6 to be provided with early learning packs tailored to their child’s age and stage of development and household items to help alleviate stress and build positive routines around meal and bedtimes.

Tools available for assessment and monitoring

  • The amount of benefits claimed (captured via Council’s Money Advice Database).
  • Amount of savings made by a family for one-off payments.
  • Number of people saved from homelessness & eviction.
  • Number of families and children benefiting from Building Blocks grants
  • Number of families benefiting from Foodbank vouchers

The World Health Organisation describes mental health as “a state of well-being in which the individual realises his or her own abilities, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully, and is able to make a contribution to his or her community”.  Mental health is determined by biological, psychological, social, economic and environmental factors which interact in complex ways.  Public Health Wales notes that around a quarter of the population experience mental health problems. The Early Intervention Foundation notes that the wellbeing and mental health of a child or young person supports positive outcomes in other areas, such as performance at school or behaviour at home. Early intervention can help to build up the social and emotional skills which are so essential for learning and life, support future good mental health, and discourage risky behaviour such as smoking and substance abuse.

Anyone can be affected at any stage of life. As such, in Cardiff Early Help, we consider the mental health of the infant, the child or young person and the parent.  Infant mental health describes the social and emotional well-being and development of children in the earliest years of life. Crucially, infant mental health relies on the healthy functioning of the nurturing relationship between caregiver and child. In other words, infant mental health reflects whether children have the secure, responsive relationships that they need to thrive.

Underpinning knowledge required

Practitioners will be ACE Aware and Attachment, Relational & Trauma Informed in establishing their understanding of the impact of parental mental illness on household members.


Mental Health First Aid – teaches how to spot the signs and symptoms of mental health conditions and provide help on a first aid basis.  It provides a deeper understanding of the issues that impact on and relate to people’s mental health, teaches practical skills that can be used every day, including being able to spot the signs and symptoms of mental health issues and encourages confidence in participants when guiding people towards appropriate support.

Advice, Support and Interventions to be delivered

Primary Mental Health Specialists (PMHS) – available to offer consultations to colleagues, assessments and direct clinical work to support the mental health of children and young people aged 4 to 17 years 9 months, where there are concerns around emotional wellbeing and mental health. The core business of PMHS is:

  1. The mental health assessment of Children and Young People up to 18 years, under Part 1 of the Mental Health Measure (Wales). The Measure specifies that referrals for a Part 1 assessment can only be made by GPs and Secondary mental health services (i.e. CAMHS). Contact with family has to be made within 28 days of receiving the referral for an assessment.
  2. Provide brief (6 sessions) therapeutic interventions for children and young people with mental health difficulties in the mild to moderate range, following assessment.
  3. Provide consultation and advice to parents and children, which might include signposting and facilitating referrals to community resources and other health service teams. This latter function might be carried out by the core team or the community based senior practitioners who can offer face to face consultations in schools and other community settings.
  4. Provide consultation and advice to professionals working with children and families e.g. GPs, Other health service professionals, Schools, Social Services, Youth Service, Third Sector.


Parents Plus & Parents First are psychology-led 1:1 based parenting services for parents of children aged up to 4, living in Flying Start areas who would benefit from a bespoke, enhanced level of support in the three key areas of:

  • building secure attachments
  • enhancing positive behaviours
  • promoting children’s development.

The offer includes specialist parent-infant work with parents and children in the First 1000 days. Interventions are informed by the Infant Mental Health Framework and practitioners in this team have also achieved level 1 of the AIMH UK (Association of Infant Mental Health) IMH Competency Framework.


ASSIST – Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training teaches participants to recognise warning signs of suicide, and how to then create plans to support immediate safety.  It is widely used by healthcare providers, but participants do not require any formal training to attend the workshop.  It helps individuals understand the ways personal and societal attitudes affect views on suicide and interventions, it provides guidance and first aid to a person at risk, it helps participants identify key elements of a suicide safety plans and it orchestrate the actions to implement it.

SafeTALK – training prepares anyone 15 or older, regardless of prior experience or training, to become a suicide-alert helper.  Training as a SafeTALK-trained suicide alert helper aims to equip individuals to:

  • Move beyond common tendencies to miss, dismiss or avoid suicide.
  • Identify people who have thoughts of suicide.
  • Apply the TALK steps (Tell, Ask, Listen and Keep-safe) to connect a person thinking about suicide to a suicide intervention resource.

SafeTALK-trained helpers can recognise signals and take action by connecting those struggling with life-saving intervention resources, such as caregivers trained in ASSIST. Trained helpers work to provide suicide-safer communities, alongside intervention resources, to identify and avert suicide risks.  Those trained will learn to notice and respond to scenarios whereby they suspect suicidal thoughts are present, recognize invitations for help and move beyond common tendency to miss, dismiss or avoid.

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) – is a talking therapy that can help manage problems by changing the way we think and behave.  Its most commonly used to treat anxiety and depression, but can be useful for other mental and physical health problems.  CBT is based on the concept that thoughts, feelings, physical sensations and actions are interconnected, and that negative thoughts and feelings can trap individuals in a vicious cycle.  CBT aims to help individuals to deal with overwhelming problems in a more positive way by breaking them down into smaller parts.  Individuals are shown how to change these negative patterns to improve the way they feel.  It deals with current problems, rather than focusing on issues from the past.  It looks for practical ways to improve state of mind on a daily basis.  The eventual aim of therapy is to teach individuals to apply the skills in daily life, helping them to manage problems and to stop them having a negative impact even after a course of treatment finishes.

The specialised parent-infant relationship team in Cardiff Parenting works with the parent and infant to support the parent-infant relationship and mental health in the first 1000 days.  In partnership with specialised practitioners from the Flying Start Health Visiting Team, Thinking Together Conversations are available to colleagues to focus on developing the parent-infant relationship.

Tools available for assessment and monitoring

  • Patient Health Questionnaire , Pfizer, 2017
  • Revised Children’s Anxiety and Depression Scale (RCADS)
  • Parent version RCADS-P
  • WEMWBS (The Warwick-Edinburgh Mental Wellbeing Scales)
  • Child Revised Impact of Events Scale
  • Systemic Clinical Outcome and Routine Evaluation SCORE-15
  • Child and Youth Resilience Measure
  • The Eating Disorder Examination
  • Clinical Outcomes in Routine Evaluation (CORE)
  • Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale (Rosenberg, 1965)
  • Mood thermometers (Tuckerman, Bruce, 1988)
  • Children’s Percieved Self-Control Scale (Humphreys, L.)
  • Children’s Belief’s About Parental Divorce Scale (Kurdek, L. A. and Berg, B., 1987)
  • Hare Self-Esteem Scale (Hare, Bruce)

Education is one of the surest routes out of poverty.  Cardiff’s’ Capital Ambition states that we are committed to making sure that every child has the best start in life and that we will double our efforts to make sure that no child is left behind.  A key factor in developing Cardiff Family Advice & Support will be supporting families to:

  • Understand the importance of education.
  • How they can support their and their children’s learning and foster a sense of ambition.
  • Encourage good attendance and engagement/participation in school.

Underpinning knowledge required

Possessing a sound knowledge of Cardiff’s Education system and processes and, where relevant Flying Start, would enable practitioners to support parents with concerns about their child’s access to or involvement in education and school life.  This would need to include (but is not exhaustive of):

  • An understanding of the responsibilities of local authorities, the health board, schools and other educational settings, in relation to children and young people with additional learning needs (ALN).
  • An understanding of the school admission processes.
  • An understanding of the policies and legislation regarding school attendance and how to support children and parents in meeting these requirements.
  • Knowledge of the range of support services working with schools, including:
  • Youth Services
  • Education Other Than at School (EOTAS)
  • Education Welfare Service
  • Children who are Looked After in Education
  • Special Education Needs Casework Team
  • Exclusions Team
  • Tutoring Services
  • Educational Psychology Service
  • Elective Home Education
  • Early Years Inclusion Services
  • Disability Inclusion Team
  • Visual Impairment, Hearing Impairment and Multi-Sensory Impairment Teams
  • Speech and Language Communication Needs
  • Emotional Health and Well-being Team
  • Autism Support Team
  • Literacy and Numeracy Support Team
  • Flying Start Childcare (only relevant to eligible families)
  • Flying Start Outreach and the referral process

Practitioners can advise on the Childcare Offer for early years children and signpost to the Childcare Offer Team.

Advice, Support and Interventions to be delivered

Accredited Centre – Having an Accredited Centre within the service allows us to offer accreditation on the courses that our teams deliver. This provides family members who engage with our services an acknowledgment of their time and commitment by gaining a recognised qualification. Through providing these opportunities we are contributing to the promotion of lifelong learning, as well as having a positive impact on the well-being, resilience and skills within the family.


The courses currently accredited through our centre include ‘Its Child’s Play’, ‘Mini Talkers, Mini Explorers’, ‘Get Cooking’ and the ‘Parent Nurturing Programme’.


Any centre delivering Agored provision must have appropriate quality systems in place to underpin delivery and evidence that it is implemented effectively. Within Early Help our aim is to provide quality assured training through:

  • A team of well informed, committed and supported tutors
  • Standardised, evidence based, up-to-date resources to support learner’s study
  • Guidance and support for learners and provision for individual needs
  • Equal opportunities in practice that help to maximise the participation of learners
  • Assessment procedures, which are inclusive and offer participation, equity and reliable standardisation
  • Systems which provide efficient recording and evaluation
  • Progression routes for learners


The Flying Start Advisory Team’s role is to monitor and evaluate the quality of childcare provision for two to three year olds within Flying Start Childcare settings. This is based on current research into early year’s development. Support will include visits to settings to monitor and model good practice; arranging good practice visits; practical workshops; signposting staff to other professionals; facilitating central based mandatory training, and providing bespoke in house training. Quality of service delivered through settings is continually evaluated.

The Thrive Approach – has been adopted by many Cardiff schools, often in combination with nurture provision.  Any family-trained practitioners would complement this approach.  The approach provides a way of working with children and young people that supports optimal social and emotional development.  In addition, the approach can work in a targeted way with children and young people who may have struggled with difficult life events to help them re-engage with life and learning.

Theraplay – has been adopted by many Cardiff schools, often in combination with nurture provision.  Any trained practitioners would complement this approach.  Theraplay is a child and family therapy for building and enhancing attachment, self-esteem, trust in others, and joyful engagement.  It is based on the natural patterns of playful, healthy interaction between parent and child and is personal, physical, and fun.  Theraplay interactions focus on four essential qualities found in parent-child relationships: Structure, Engagement, Nurture, and Challenge.  Theraplay sessions create an active, emotional connection between the child and parent or caregiver, resulting in a changed view of the self as worthy and lovable and of relationships as positive and rewarding.  In treatment the Theraplay practitioner guides the parent and child through playful, fun games, developmentally challenging activities, and tender, nurturing activities.  The very act of engaging each other in this way helps the parent regulate the child’s behaviour and communicate love, joy, and safety to the child. It helps the child feel secure, cared for, connected and worthy.

Tools available for assessment and monitoring

  • ITERS – Infant/Toddler Environment Rating Scale
  • SSTEW – Sustained Shared Thinking and Emotional Wellbeing Scale
  • The Leuven Scale – Wellbeing and Involvement Screening Tool
  • School/ Flying Start Childcare attendance records
  • Wellcomm Toolkit

5.0 Supplementary Knowledge

All teams with Early Help will require a working knowledge of relevant legislation and pathways into a wide variety of key local services.

Practitioners will need to feel confident in understanding the legal framework in which they operate and the implications of current and future changes in legislation, on practice.  This can be linked to Cardiff’s IPC Review which notes the growing evidence base that an effective service may include reminding legal guardians of their legal duties to young people.


Well-being of Future Generations (Wales) Act 2015

The Well-being of Future Generations (Wales) Act 2015 looks to improve the social, economic, environmental and cultural well-being of Wales.  This will ensure public bodies listed think about long term actions, working better with people and communities to prevent problems and work sustainably.  A statutory Future Generations Commissioner for Wales is established to act in the interest of future generations, supporting public bodies and working to achieve well-being goals.  The Act also establishes Public Services Boards (PSBs) for each local authority area in Wales. Each PSB must improve the economic, social, environmental and cultural well-being of its area by working to achieve the well-being goals.


Social Services & Well-being (Wales) Act 2014

The Social Services and Well-being (Wales) Act came into force on 6 April 2016.The Act provides the legal framework for improving the well-being of people who need care and support and carers who need support and for transforming social services in Wales.


UNCRC & Child’s Rights Approach

The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child is a human rights treaty with 54 articles that cover all aspects of a child’s life and set out the civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights that all children everywhere are entitled to.  It also explains how adults and governments must work together to make sure all children can enjoy all their rights.  Every child has rights, whatever their ethnicity, gender, religion, language, abilities or any other status.


Rights of Children & Young Persons (Wales) Measure 2011

The Rights of Children and Young Persons (Wales) Measure 2011 places a duty on Welsh Government Ministers to have due regard to the UNCRC and its Optional Protocols when making decisions about proposed legislation and policies and any review to existing legislation and policies.

The Welsh Government states that, by placing children’s rights at the heart of policy and legislation, it will influence the delivery of services and improve the outcomes for Children and Young People, with success in Wales measured by the impact it has on the lives of children, young people and families.


General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)

The General Data Protection Regulation came into force on 25 May 2018, directed at small to medium organisations, and individuals’ protection under the Data Protection Act.  It aims to enhance regulations around privacy and individual rights; ensuring organisations comply, or else face penalties of up to 4% of annual turnover or 20 million euros – whichever is the greater.  All individuals in the EU will gain more control of their personal data, requiring organisations to gain explicit consent to individual’s data, strengthening individual rights towards profiling and automated decision-making.

All staff will need to have an understanding of confidentiality & information sharing and apply the principles in practice when working with families, young people and children.


Violence against Women, Domestic Abuse and Sexual Violence Act (Wales) 2015

The legislation addresses all forms of gender based violence and sexual abuse including domestic abuse, rape, sexual abuse, sexual exploitation, Female Genital Mutilation, and so called ‘honour based’ violence and forced marriage. The main aim of the legislation is to improve the public sector response in Wales to these issues and the role of Education features heavily within the new Act.  Welsh Government Ministers are now able to make regulations requiring Local Authorities to report on how they are addressing Violence against Women, Domestic Abuse and Sexual Violence within schools and also to report any action taken within schools. One of the key mechanisms for delivery of the Act is the National Training Framework.  The level of training required is dependent on a person’s role.  This has implications for all staff working in schools and the public and voluntary sector in Cardiff.


Children Act 1989 & 2004

The Children Act allocates duties to local authorities, courts, parents, and other agencies in the United Kingdom, to ensure children are safeguarded and their welfare is promoted. It centres on the idea that children are best cared for within their own families; however, it also makes provisions for instances when parents and families do not co-operate with statutory bodies.  The Act is now the basis for most official administration considered helpful to children, notably bringing all local government functions of children’s welfare and education under the statutory authority of local Directors of Children’s Services. Sections 17 and 47 in particular form the basis on which we protect children, and also outlines our duties to young carers and looked after children.

Section 17 of the Children Act 1989 states that it is the general duty of every local authority to safeguard and promote the welfare of children within their area who are in need; and so far as it is consistent with that duty, to promote the upbringing of such children by their families.


Additional Learning Needs and Educational Tribunal Act (2018)

The Additional Learning Needs and Educational Tribunal Act  (ALNET) legislation creates a legal framework to ensure learners’ needs are identified early, addressed quickly, and their views, wishes and feelings are at the heart of the planning processes to support them to overcome barriers to learning and achieving their full potential.This Act makes provision for universal, statutory Individual Development Plans (IDPs) for all young people with ALN, bringing an end to the current distinction between school led interventions and local authority issued statements.  This in turn will integrate the separate legislative arrangements that exist for pupils in schools and colleges.  This seeks to improve collaboration between local authorities and health boards, establishing a fairer system with an emphasis on disagreement avoidance and dispute resolution.

Professionals/Practitioners in Cardiff Family Advice & Support would benefit from an understanding of the Act, how it is working in Cardiff and the functions of the Inclusion and Disability Services available.


Children (Abolition of Defence of Reasonable Punishment) (Wales) Act 2020

The purpose of the Act is to abolish the common law defence of reasonable punishment so it is no longer available in Wales to parents or those acting in loco parentis as a defence to assault or battery against a child.

The Act is intended to support children’s rights by prohibiting the use of physical punishment, through removal of this defence. The intended effect of the Act, together with an awareness-raising campaign and support for parents, is to bring about a further reduction in the use and tolerance of the physical punishment of children in Wales.

In addition to the services delivered by Cardiff Early Help, there are specialist teams within Cardiff providing services which will complement the work of Cardiff Early Help

A practitioner’s underpinning knowledge will need to include the pathways into a wide variety of key local services, including (but not limited to) domestic abuse, mental health, substance misuse and parenting.


Cardiff and Vale Integrated Family Support Team

Community Reinforcement and Family Training (CRAFT) – is a skills-based program for people who live with or support a loved one with a drug or alcohol problem.  The primary goals of CRAFT are:

  • To improve the quality of life of the concerned significant others (CSO);
  • To reduce substance use in the loved one, and
  • To engage the loved one in treatment.

At the same time, CRAFT addresses their loved one’s resistance to change. CRAFT teaches families behavioural and motivational strategies for interacting with their loved one. Participants learn, for example, the power of positive reinforcement for positive behaviour (and of withdrawing it for unwanted behaviour), and how to use positive communication skills to improve interactions and maximise their influence.  Specifically, CRAFT teaches several skills, including:

  • Understanding a loved one’s triggers to use substances
  • Positive communication strategies
  • Positive reinforcement strategies – rewarding non-using behaviour
  • Problem-solving
  • Self-care
  • Domestic violence precautions
  • Getting a loved one to accept help

A systematic review and meta-analysis of four small, randomised controlled trials in the USA and Canada compared the efficacy of CRAFT to more traditional approaches.  The CRAFT approach in working with CSOs significantly increased their loved one’s engagement into treatment (67%) as compared to Alcoholics Anonymous or Narcotics Anonymous approaches (18%) (Four studies) and the Johnson Institute intervention (30%) (One study).  All three approaches also resulted in some degree of improved functioning of the CSO within a six-month follow-up.  The outcomes measured were depression, anger, family cohesion, relation happiness and family conflicts.  CRAFT was effective independent of the substance involved and is also effective working with a range of CSOs including adults and adolescents, and spouses, partners, parents, siblings and family members.

Families First Commissioned Services

Home Start provide support via volunteer mentors to those in need. This lower level support is for families with new babies finding it difficult to cope, working closely with Health Visitors to agree referral arrangements.  It focuses on early intervention and working holistically with the whole family, supporting them to make choices and improve their ability to meet the needs of their child/children.  1:1 and group support are offered to families and individuals. Volunteers are trained and matched with a family requiring support.

The service provides early intervention and support to families living in Cardiff with children up to the age of 25 that have an identified need for support in relation to emotional and mental health and wellbeing but below the level where they would be entitled to specialist health service and/or statutory care and support.

It includes a range of therapeutic and non –therapeutic interventions.

  • Play Therapy – Therapeutic; 1:1 work with children and siblings helps children to explore feelings thoughts and behaviours
  • 1:1 and group interventions – Non-therapeutic; delivering issue based work, 1:1 and group interventions
  • Counselling -Therapeutic; 1:1 work with children and adults also work with couples- supporting people with emotional distress


A range of group work interventions are available for children/young people, adults and families. Focusing on bereavement, expressing difficult emotions and underlying anxieties, family and peer relationships, emotional and social skills, with low self-esteem or a lack in confidence, low emotional wellbeing, difficulties regulating emotions, low self-esteem, a lack in confidence, or difficulties making and maintaining friendships, family breakdown and struggling to deal loss or separation.

The service is delivered by Cardiff Youth Service. The approach is aligned to strategic pathways developed as part of the Youth Progression Framework. This service is underpinned by the use of the Vulnerability Assessment Profile (VAP) in schools for work with those under the age of 16 and with Careers Wales for those over 16. The project contains a number of elements:

  • Pre 16 – Cardiff Youth Service team deliver this targeted work with young people aged 11-16 living in Cardiff. Youth Mentors support young people most at risk of becoming disengaged from education, identified through the Vulnerability Assessment tool.
  • Post 16 – This service includes both locality based support across the city, and the development of a city centre youth provision. The project is intended to identify, engage and provide young people with appropriate support, ensuring that quality, evidence-based interventions can be put in place for those who require them, and to reduce the risk of young people not progressing through education, training or employment. It also includes young people who present at Grass Roots.
  • EOTAS – Predominately supports young people 15 to 17 years old, who are Educated Other Than At School to make a positive transition Post 16. The cohort of young people are particularly vulnerable, who need wrap around support that seeks to improve their skills, employability and the world of work.
  • Grass roots – Provides young people with open access youth service support aged 16 to 25 at Grassroots located in Cardiff City centre. Information Support and Guidance interventions and support sessions are provided to young people who present at Grassroots which seeks to provide opportunities for young people to reach their full potential.

The Healthy Relationships project delivers, evidence-based interventions that enable young people to establish positive relationships and maintain good sexual health.  The service provides a C–Card service which is a co-ordinated free condom distribution scheme for young people across Cardiff (and the Vale of Glamorgan).  It provides targeted 1-1 support and group sessions within schools and the community for young people at risk in relation to healthy relationships and rights and responsibilities regarding sexual behaviour including advice on sexual health, that follows best practice.  Providing sexual health training and advice to other professionals on how they can support young people with their sexual health needs. Where appropriate joint sessions are delivered in schools and youth settings.

The Youth Information Service provides electronic based information on service provision for young people in Cardiff via the young people’s website, The Sprout provides information on services available through Families First provision and engages with young people in the co-production of accessible information.


Workshops and events for young people are run in schools and within the community.  The service co-produces campaigns with young people and engages with parents and professionals through training sessions.

Supporting young people at risk of becoming homeless and those with issues with family relationships. The service supports those that are looking to be alternatively accommodated as well as supporting young people to return or remain at the family home if appropriate.

Cathays Youth Provision is based at Cathays Community Centre with members, predominantly young people with learning disabilities.   This programme is made up of a broad range of activities and projects, including art, drama, music, cooking and sport. In addition, trips to places of interest and leisure facilities take place on a daily basis during school holidays. The needs and wishes of members inform the programme and peer led projects are carried out with the guidance and support of qualified youth workers.

The provision takes place during half term school holidays, Easter holidays and for the first four weeks of the school summer holiday, Monday to Friday, 10.00am to 4.00pm.

Welfare Benefits Support helps families with a disabled child and/or a disabled young people living independently (16-25).

Advice and guidance are given to family members and young people along with supporting the appeals process through to a tribunal.

Families are supported on a 1:1 or family basis in the community or at home.

The aim of the service is to enable parents and carers to provide the best language environment possible to support their young child’s early communication and language development. It provides:

  • Demonstration sessions ‘Bounce into Babble’ to equip parents and carers with the skills to develop their child’s interaction and early communication skills
  • Training to Health Visitors on speech and language development.
  • Training and support to Health Visitors and Community Nursery Nurses to enable then to provide sessions developing parent and child interaction and babble skills in babies.

Level 1 and Level 2 training courses provided to members of the community, professionals and childcare providers, as well as non-accredited training courses.

Topics include:

Get Cooking, Community Food and Nutrition Skills, Eating for 1: Healthy & Active for 2, CFNS for the Early Years, Foodwise in Pregnancy, Love Food Hate Waste

As well as support sessions such as: healthy eating and breastfeeding support groups.

Document History


March 2018

August 2020

October 2020






Dr Sarah Fitzgibbon

Dr Sarah Fitzgibbon

Dr Sarah Fitzgibbon

Revision Summary

First Draft – consultation document

Update to incorporate Early Help

Incorporating feedback from reviewers