Currently, children are inconsistently identified for early intervention, and many are missed. Current provision does not align well with those who are identified. WLZ tackles this by using a survey and existing data to identify factors which show risk of undesirable outcomes in later life. This means those at risk of undesirable outcomes in later life are objectively identified.
The survey is administered to all children and young people 9 and over on the school roll, and to parents of children 8 and under.
To define our cohort, WLZ has conducted extensive research to determine those most in need of early intervention. This research included statistical analysis of Tri-borough Children’s Services data, in partnership with Hammersmith and Fulham’s Performance and Information Team, literature reviews, and interviews with families, front line workers, social sector managers, the local authority and local councillors. To determine the presence of risk WLZ accesses data via our own composite survey, as well as data provided by early years centres and schools and where possible, other public agencies.
The risk factors we look for data on are poor engagement with school, anxiety and depression, offending behaviour (11+ only), smoking / alcohol / drug use (11+ only), hyperactivity / attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), gang involvement, bullying / victimisation, poor family management, poor attachment to parents, parents involvement in education, insufficient exercise, lack of significant adult, and overcrowded accommodation. Having analysed these risk factors, we further define the cohort with professional advice.
Those children in receipt of significant statutory support, e.g. because they are in care or on the edge of care, are not the focus of WLZ. The services WLZ coordinates are non-statutory; they are delivered by social sector organisations, and complement statutory provision. WLZ’s cohort are those most in need of early intervention, as opposed to those most in need who already receive significant statutory support. Success for WLZ will be improved outcomes and reduced risk for 20% of children and young people (cyp) in the Zone. This population level change will contribute to systems change for the community because the public and social sector will be working collaboratively to sustain improvements.
The survey is a composite of well-established measures and was designed for WLZ by Dartington Social Research Unit. WLZ will also make use of readily available data-sets from schools. Having conducted this risk analysis, WLZ will seek professional judgment from individuals who work with children and families in the schools to add information and context to each individual’s risk assessment. This triangulation of data will allow accurate identification and referral of children who are failing to flourish.
WLZ will assess risk through the survey, analysis of school data-sets, and professional judgment for all children in participating schools to determine those most in need of WLZ support. Based on resource, WLZ will allocate children to the WLZ intervention (treatment) group, or to the wait-list group. The wait list group will become the WLZ comparison group until resources allow engagement of the wait list to the intervention.
We are predicting 10% drop out between identification of the cohort for referral and signing up of the child or young person to the WLZ intervention. We are predicting 5% drop out of the treatment group per year thereafter.