The ‘front door’ in a social care context is the arrangement that local authorities have in place to respond to an initial contact from a professional or member of the public who is concerned about a child. Front door arrangements in Leeds were redesigned as a central part of our improvement journey, informed by research carried out in Leeds by Professor David Thorpe.
There is good partnership working in the Leeds front door arrangements, with a social work led Duty and Advice Team who discuss concerns about children and families with practitioners. This team includes Early Help practitioners offering support where cases do not require a social work response, and co-located health practitioners and police teams. Partnership working is also in place with Families First (Leeds’s Troubled Families response), Victim Support, Adult Social Care, MindMate Single Point of Access (SPA) for mental health concerns, Safer Leeds and Housing.
This partnership working is effective in the day to day response to concerns and referrals, and also in the development and running of effective approaches, such as Daily Domestic Violence meetings. Every weekday, a wide range of partner agencies meet to discuss and share information about all high risk domestic abuse incidents which have taken place in the previous 24 hours. This allows for a better and more co-ordinated understanding of risk and need, reduces duplication and multiple contacts for families, and allows services the opportunity to respond to risk and need in a timely manner.
In 2014, Leeds adopted the Right Conversations, Right People, Right Time model, which replaced thresholds with a clear framework in which multi-agency conversations about vulnerable and potentially vulnerable children and young people could take place.
d december 2023