A Team Around the Child (TAC) is a multi-disciplinary team of practitioners established on a case-by-case basis to support a child, young person or family. TACs support good professional practice in joined-up working, information sharing and early intervention. The model involves:
- A joined-up assessment, usually an Early Help Assessment
- A Lead Professional to coordinate the work
- 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 Early Help plan to meet the needs of the child / young person
- Regular meetings to which the child / young person and families are invited to attend
- Each practitioner in the TAC is responsible/accountable to their home agency for the services they deliver to children, young people and families
- Members of the TAC are jointly responsible for developing and delivering the plan to meet the child’s needs, and achieve the intended outcomes identified through the common assessment
- Each member of the TAC is responsible for delivering the activities they agreed to carry out as part of the delivery plan
- Each member of the TAC is responsible for keeping the other members of the team informed about progress in their area of responsibility, providing reports promptly when requested and attending meetings
- All TAC members should contribute to taking minutes and chairing meetings, and take on other tasks as necessary
- TAC members should support the Lead Professional by providing information, offering guidance and advice
- TAC members should contribute actively and positively to solving problems or resolving difficulties
In Islington, the TAC can be enlarged to become:
- A Team Around the Family (TAF) when dealing with families.
- A Team Around the School (TAS) where all the children with additional needs in a school are helped.
The Lead Professional is a set of functions to be carried out as part of the delivery of effective integrated support. These functions are to:
- Act as a single point of contact for the child, young person or family, who they can trust and who can engage them in making choices, navigating their way through services and effecting change. The parent / child should have a say in identifying their Lead Professional.
- Co-ordinate the delivery of the actions agreed by the practitioners involved in the multi-agency TAC to ensure that children, young people and families receive an effective integrated service that is regularly reviewed. These actions will be based on the outcome of the shared assessment
- Reduce overlap and inconsistency in the services received by children, young people and their families.
The Lead Professional is not responsible for other professionals’ work and the person who initiates the Early Help assessment may not necessarily be the Lead Professional.