Introducing HEART, our new children's wellbeing model

HEART children's wellbeing model

Introducing HEART, our new children's wellbeing model

We are really excited to be sharing more about HEART with you. HEART is our new model for children's wellbeing services in East Ayrshire. 

If you missed our first introduction to HEART, Help Everyone At the Right Time, don't worry - we have a copy of our update available to view any time. This also includes details of our logo design competition for children and young people; we've had some great entries so far, but there's still time to take part!

Colouring pencils and a pencil sharpener

For this update, we have created a list of FAQs that we think will be useful for people in East Ayrshire. If we've missed anything that you would like to know, please get in touch!

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What is HEART?

HEART is a new approach to helping children, young people and families in East Ayrshire. We have listened to families’ experiences and know that many struggle to get help when and where they need it.

We’ve also carefully followed the work of the Independent Care Review and want to #KeepThePromise made to Scotland’s children and families.

We want to make sure that we Help Everyone At the Right Time by making support available at an early stage and in the communities where people live.

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What is going to happen?

Families tell us that they would like the services that support them to work together more effectively and be more available in the communities they serve.

The first phase of the HEART plan is for a range of services for families (including social work, CAMHS, education, early years, school nursing, health visiting, Vibrant Communities, allied health professionals) to come together in multi-disciplinary teams linked to each education group area.

This means that if a family needs some extra help or support there will be a team of practitioners linked to that locality who have a good knowledge of the area and all services that are available to offer early help when families need it most.

So, if you live in Cumnock and need to use services provided by Vibrant Communities, your worker should be part of the Barony multi-disciplinary team and should know your area and the other services within that area.

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Which areas will have new multi-disciplinary teams?

There will be six new teams, each covering one of the six non-denominational education group areas (also known as secondary school catchment areas) in East Ayrshire.

The new teams will be:

  • Stewarton
  • William McIlvanney
  • Grange
  • Loudon
  • Barony
  • Doon Valley

The multi-disciplinary team which supports you will depend on the locality area you live in, which might not be the same as where you go to school.

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What about faith schools and ASN schools?

We know that not everyone in East Ayrshire attends their local school and that some kinds of school such as faith schools and schools for children with additional support needs serve support children and young people across East Ayrshire from all localities.

As our aim is to organise services around the places where people live, we have focussed on geographical communities. This means that if you live in Auchinleck but attend a school in Kilmarnock, you will receive support from the team in the locality you live in.

This team however would link with your school to ensure you get the best support available. In practice, teachers from these schools will link in with a number of different multi-disciplinary teams in order to fully support all of their pupils.

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Why is this change happening?

We know from people’s experiences that they often find support services remote and hard to access, and that they want services to work more effectively together. By organising all of these services around communities, we hope that they will work more effectively together and be more visible and accessible in the communities they serve.

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Will my services be moving?

At this stage we are not looking for services to physically relocate, however we would hope that as time goes by more services will be able to have a physical presence in the communities they serve.

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Will I have to change worker?

We know that relationships are central to good family support. If you already have a relationship with someone from one of these services, we would not expect that to change as a result of the changes brought about by HEART.

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How will the services work together?

The new multi-disciplinary teams will come together in different ways to discuss how they can best work together for the communities they serve. This may involve discussions about general issues and themes relating to that community, or (assuming consent has been given) discussions about how best to help specific families. We hope that families and communities will also be able to form part of these discussions.

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Will all workers be part of multi-disciplinary teams?

Most workers will fall naturally into one of the multi-disciplinary teams based on where they work and several of the services are changing their organisation structures to support this. However, some workers will not align to a particular area, because they work most effectively across a larger area or because their service is too small to be divided into six teams. In these cases, the services will be connected to multi-disciplinary teams by link workers who will attend meetings and carry information to and from the wider professional group.

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Will my information be protected?

Although different services will form parts of the same multi-disciplinary teams, we will continue to take data protection very seriously and will still require your consent to share any information between one service and another. The exception to this rule is where not sharing information would place a child at risk of harm.

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When is this going to happen?

The new multi-disciplinary teams will start working together on 4 April 2022.

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What next for HEART?

We hope that more changes will follow as part of the HEART model, and that these changes will continue the work of making help for families easier to access. Look out for future developments!

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Do you have more questions?

Don't hesitate to get in touch to ask!