A Team Around a Child is a multi-disciplinary team of practitioners established on a case-by-case basis to support a child, young person or family. TAC supports particular elements of good professional practice in joined-up working, information sharing and early intervention. The TAC is a model of service delivery that involves:
- A joined-up assessment, usually a Common Assessment Framework (CAF)
- A lead professional (LP) to coordinate the work and act as a single point of contact
- The child / young person and family at the centre of the process
- A virtual or flexible multi-agency team that will change as needs change
- Coordination at the point of delivery
- A TAC family service plan to meet the needs of the child / young person
- Regular meetings to which the child / young person and families are invited to attend.
A lead professional will be required to carry out a number of tasks, which will be a normal course of action.
These might include:
- building a trusting relationship with the child and family (or other carers) to secure their involvement in the process
- being the single point of contact for the family and a sounding board for them to ask questions and discuss concerns
- being the single point of contact for all practitioners who are delivering services to the child
- coordinating the effective delivery of a package of ‘solution-focused’ actions and establishing a process by which this will be reviewed regularly.
Any practitioner taking on the role will naturally have strongly developed strengths in communication.
If the child is young or developmentally young, the lead professional is likely to draw on skills that involve
- communicating with the child using forms of communication appropriate to their age and level of understanding
- engaging parents and carers
- understanding key transition points in a child’s life, for example, moving into the next key stage at school
- gaining the child's trust and respect
- being able to challenge the child when necessary and help them move on in their thinking
- ensuring an effective transition to adult services if necessary