Working together to support disabled parents
Template of a local, joint-working protocol
This template provides a guide for the structure of local protocols, the detailed wording of which will need to be developed by local agencies. However, some wording is suggested at various points and is based on current good practice. These suggestions are in boxes below. Links are also given to other relevant parts of the resource.
Generally, local protocols for supporting disabled adults in their parenting role comprise four main sections. These are:
The starting points include:
- identifying common principles and desired outcomes
- defining what groups and situations are covered by the protocol and agreeing common definitions and language
- setting out the relevant national policy and legislative framework
- identifying relevant local policies, protocols and guidance.
See Starting points.
Processes and functions
This section covers all of the different processes and functions which are part of supporting disabled adults in their parenting role and safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children whose parents have additional support needs.
This section is the core of the jointly agreed protocol as it sets out the responsibilities of agencies and the arrangements for joint working. It is sometimes called 'practice guidance’. A number of protocols also include diagrammatic representations of care pathways and case study examples of how the protocol should work.
A protocol will only be effective if there are clear plans for, and resources devoted to, its implementation. The template sets out the steps to be taken, covering for example, dissemination of the protocol and joint training arrangements.
Evaluation and review
Assessing the effectiveness of the protocol is a key part of its implementation and will include, for example, plans for consultation with parents and children, gaining feedback from staff and agencies and monitoring the impact of the protocol on service provision and the accommodation of children.
The aim of this template is to see what these four sections of a protocol might look like.