| |

Keeping Children Out of Local Authority Care – Accelerated Support Team: Interim Evaluation – Brent youth justice service (April 2020)


An interim evaluation report looking at the impact of Brent Council’s accelerated support team initiative established within the early help service. 


The Brent Children and Young People’s Department (BCYP) established an Accelerated Support Team (AST) within the Early Help Service in early 2019.  The AST is a pilot initiative aims to help solve problems with children aged 11-17 years and their families, where there is a high risk of the child entering the care system if the situation does not improve. Key objectives of the pilot include reducing family crisis and costs to the local authority and keeping children living safely at home (including reunifying those in temporary care).

The core components of the service model are:

  • Time-limited, intensive interventions, where caseworkers have smaller caseloads to give time to address some immediate and multiple needs of the young person and the family.
  • A rapid response where families are contacted within 24 hours of the AST receiving a referral.
  • Flexible support across 7 days per week to meet the needs of the young person and the family.
  • A systemic, therapeutic approach to understanding family dynamics, evaluating risk and moving families forward through ongoing clinical supervision.
  • Access to other multidisciplinary interventions. This includes 1:1 bespoke mentoring support and therapeutic interventions.
  • Out-of-hours short-term interventions for high risk children and families to support work of Brent Children’s Social Care, Family Solutions and youth justice service.

The accelerated support team evaluation looks at the journey of families post AST intervention and any incurred or saved costs to the local authority, over 2019/20 and 2020/21.  This report sets out key findings, analysis and insights from experience to end of March 2020. This report also sets out planned activities to support future evaluation, including of the street mentor project and co-located mental health practitioner funded through the Supporting Families Against Youth Crime initiative.


Youth justice service:Brent youth justice service 
Name: James Salter
Email: James.Salter@brent.gov.uk