FFCP Frequently Asked Questions

Families First for Children Pathfinder

Q1 – What is a Pathfinder? How is it different to a project?
A Pathfinder is designed to test out how we implement things that we know work, whereas a project often seeks to find out whether something works or not

Q2 – What is the Families First for Children Pathfinder about?
The Pathfinder is part of the government’s programme of reform for children’s services as part of the Stable Homes: Built on Love strategy, which seeks to help families to overcome challenges so they can stay together and thrive. Pathfinder areas will be able to test out new ways of working in their safeguarding, family help, and child protection arrangements, and how they can support family networks, to see what works well

Q3 – How will the Pathfinder affect me?
The Pathfinder will affect everyone who works with children, young people and families in Wirral, because it is going to change how we work with and support families. It is very important that all members of staff are sighted on what is happening. Some staff, teams and organisations will be directly involved in designing and testing change

Q4 – How can I get involved, and have a say?
There will be many opportunities for colleagues to be involved, and to attend sessions about the Pathfinder areas of work. The Pathfinder page on the WSCP website will be where all new information is added and staff are advised to check back often for updates

Q5 – What are the timescales?
We are currently (April/May 24) in the project design stage. This will be followed by consultation across the partnership, ahead of us beginning to deliver change from July 2024. The Pathfinder will run for 12 months and will end in March 2025.

Q6 – Will I be asked to manage Child in Need cases when I’m not a social worker?
As part of the Pathfinder we will be testing out the role of Family Help Lead Practitioner which will provide opportunities for professionals from outside children’s social care to manage some Child in Need cases. However, this will always be under the supervision and guidance of children’s social care, and only for cases where this is appropriate

Q7 – Will there be changes to my terms or conditions, or potential salary changes?
The Pathfinder itself won’t create any changes to terms and conditions or salaries, as we are testing out what practice might look like, we aren’t making any permanent changes. Following the Pathfinder employers will need to consider whether contracts should change or whether new roles need to be created. We would expect all employers to follow their usual consultation processes of and when this happens.

Q8 – Will jobs be created as part of the Pathfinder?
The Pathfinder does bring with it funding from the DfE and part of this will be used to create and fund a variety of new posts to support the programme. However, where this happens we will need to be clear about how to make any changes sustainable if they will exist beyond the lifespan of the Pathfinder.

Q9Where is the Pathfinder going to happen?
Under the four broad themes there will undoubtedly be many areas of service delivery to families touched to a lesser or greater degree by the Pathfinder. However, it is likely the bulk of the activity will be concentrated in multi-disciplinary teams and existing Early Help and Children’s Social Care Services. Multi-agency project groups will be established for each theme and these will include all the key stakeholders from across the partnership.

Q10 – What changes will the Pathfinder make to families?
The Pathfinder will test reforms and new ways of working which will ultimately lead to a more seamless and responsive service to children, young people and families in Wirral. Given the short timescale it is unlikely that immediate changes and benefits will be reflected in local data, but it is hoped that feedback from children and families, and from professionals over the course of the Pathfinder will indicate to us ‘what works’ and how we should work in the future.


Click HERE to return to go to the Pathfinder main page.



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