Family Insight

A CQC inspection has given a family support service in Haringey a firmer platform for their life-changing interventions.

Insight Platform started as a substance misuse service for young people in Haringey, but increasingly their work has focused on the whole family. The introduction of hidden harm work means that they now support families through the process of recovery and beyond to support the child’s safety, emotional wellbeing and to try and prevent intergenerational drug use. The team delivered 479 hidden harm sessions with children from April 2016 to March this year.

‘The work on hidden harm is so important because it safeguards children and ensures they aren’t missed out of the recovery process,’ says Chantelle Green, Hidden Harm Worker at Insight. ‘We work with parents so they can understand the effects of their drug and alcohol use, and run age-appropriate activities with children – we aren’t here to judge, but believe in everyone’s capacity to change.’

‘Students have always engaged really well with the Insight Platform
satellite service. The practitioners calm and confident manner allows
students to feel at ease, giving them the opportunity to talk about
themselves without fear of being judged, while also encouraging
them to making better life choices.’ Learning mentor, Highgate Wood

The social worker at Insight Platform works directly with high complexity and high-risk families where substance misuse is a factor, ensuring the clinical integrity of the service and keeping service users safe. As they employ a social worker, they fit into the scope of CQC registration.

CQC do not currently rate substance misuse services but when assessing services they focus on five key areas, ascertaining if it is safe, effective, caring, responsive and well-led. In their recent CQC inspection the service was praised for many areas of good practice, includ­ing clearly defined recovery goals, effective safeguarding, and skilled and knowledgeable staff providing a high quality service.

‘We were apprehensive when we found out we had to be inspected by the CQC but the whole process has actually been really useful and we are really pleased with the result,’ said Sandra Duhaney, Insight Platform Manager. ‘We are a very inclusive, welcoming service and we try to work in collaboration with the borough and our partners to meet the diverse needs of the community and ensure better life outcomes. Critically we want to keep the community safe through education at community events, training professionals and outreach in schools and colleges. We also work very closely with the Youth Offending service and Probation to give support to those at a crossroads in their lives.’

‘When I was referred to Insight Platform I initially didn’t think it would make a
difference to my life, however my key worker was absolutely amazing which
allowed me to let my guard down and realise the roots of my issues. From
the first session I was convinced that I could make some positive changes and
progress to getting on the right track. I still have some low days like most
people but I now know how to control my triggers and can live a normal life.’
Lucy*, aged 19

For Haringey Council Commissioner, Sarah Hart, the report was confirmation of the service’s achievements in ‘listening to their clients and working with them to turn their family’s lives around with strength based interventions’.

‘It is always good to get a positive report from CQC, but it’s especially important that this is a service which works with such vulnerable children, young people and parents,’ she said. ‘The report praises every aspect of the service, giving assurances to partner agencies that in referring clients to Insight Platform you are delivering them into a “safe pair of hands”.’

Jo*, one of the parents attending Insight, commented that before she came to the service she thought things would be difficult forever. ‘The family groups and support I have received at Insight Platform has been so positive,’ she said. ‘It has helped me to relate to my children better and create firmer boundaries with them which was difficult work to begin with, but has paid off. The family events have also helped me to build a stronger bond with my children… simple changes have made such a difference for my whole family.’

*Names have been changed to protect identities.