Hi, my name is Jackie McCarthy and I have the good fortune of being the head of service for Family Support, Care Planning and Early Intervention. A big job you may think and yes you would be right, but I am privileged and fortunate to have committed and competent managers and staff who work with me to safeguard children and young people and ensure the best possible outcomes for them.

Working across the safeguarding spectrum from Children in need to Looked after children, staff in my area have the opportunity to have a mixed caseload and as such gain a breadth of skills and knowledge.

We have a bespoke Court team who hold the majority of cases in proceedings, and we have therefore developed an expertise in this area of work which within the learning environment we foster, means that teams across the service can gain invaluable support and guidance.

A number of families with vulnerable children and young people are worked with at the Quad, a building based in the borough's Northern wards which is shared with our Youth Offending Team and Targeted Youth Service. Working to a multi-agency model, families are afforded the opportunity to engage in a variety to supports to address both the presenting issue and underlying cause.

As the lead for Early Intervention, the focus of this work is to strengthen the boroughs response to early help and galvanise early help responsibility across the multi-agency partnership in order to prevent risks to children and young people escalating and thus preventing the need for statutory intervention.

The whole focus of my job and that of my teams is to make a difference to the lives of children and young people so that they are safe and have the opportunity to achieve their dreams and aspirations.