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Welcome note from Jenny

Jenny Coles

Welcome to another edition of CS News and as we move into June, it’s nice that we finally have some better weather and the sun is shining.  There continues to be lots going on as always and no doubt we are all waiting to find out if there will be a national lifting of restrictions at the end of this month!

Firstly, I must congratulate our two care leavers who presented and facilitated workshops at a recent conference entitled `Effective Children’s Social Work in a Pandemic; what we’ve learned’. They did a brilliant job, explaining the findings of reports and asking participants to say what they would do to ensure care leavers are fully supported going forwards.

This was a participatory research project led by Essex County Council and Anglia Ruskin University to find out how care leavers were affected by the pandemic. It involved six Local Authorities and we had four of our young people – all care leaver and volunteers with CHICC – taking part. The results highlighted how hard it was for care leavers during the pandemic in terms of isolation and mental health difficulties.  Reports have been finalised and proposals made on how improvements can be made for care leavers.  A huge well done and thank you to all the young people who took part. Their contribution and views will be incorporated into our recovery work going forward. 

The independent review of children’s social care have now published the review’s workforce engagement plan. It is vital that the review hears from professionals working with children and families so there is an understanding of what works well in children’s social care and what needs to be improved.   I am keen for Herts to share our good practice as I believe we will add value to future learning.

As I’m sure you are now aware the long-awaited Domestic Abuse Bill has finally gained Royal Assent. This is a monumental step in tackling domestic abuse and increasing the recognition of the devasting impact in has on victims and their children. Through our existing work and preparation for the Act, we are already in a strong position to take forward the required new duties to develop our safe accommodation and services further, and the extra funding provided will help us to meet the needs of those affected here in Hertfordshire. It’s so important that those experiencing domestic abuse feel safe and confident to come forward so that we can provide the right help at the right time.  We feature more about the Act in this edition.

As we think about our recovery plan and look to the future, I must mention schools and education settings and CS staff working tirelessly to support children and young people to get back on track.  Thank you all for your continued hard work.

And finally, don’t forget our Children's Services Roadshows at the end of this month. We should know more the lifting or easing of national restrictions by then and there will be the usual time allocated for questions to discuss this or anything else.

Best wishes


In the Spotlight

Maria takes on a 1000 mile Charity Cycling Challenge to raise money for children's charities

“So I'm taking on the TROOPER that's a whopping 1000 miles - Am I mad, most probably but if the four charities need help its now more than ever.

But I'm taking it on over a longer period of time and I am aiming to complete this challenge within the next 10 weeks with at least one day of rest, I plan to cycle on average 17 miles a day.  So far I have cycled 422 miles out of the 1000 in the last 24 days.

This is my fourth year of taking part, I have successfully completed two physical rides of 175 miles over 2 ½ days from Alexandra Palace London to Download festival in Donington in 2018 and 2019  and last year’s virtual two months after seriously breaking my leg, in the last three years of taking part I have raised over £10’000, and helped towards the Heavy Metal Truants raise over £800’000 in the last 8 years, this year we are aiming to hit 1 million.

I am still on the road to recovery and fitness and I hope that by doing this raises the most money for these amazing four children’s charities which are Nordoff Robbins the UK’s largest music therapy charity, we use music to enrich the lives of people with life-limiting illness, disabilities or feelings of isolation.  Teenage Cancer Trust the only UK charity dedicated to providing the specialised nursing care and support they need for young people.  Childline is there to help anyone under 19 in the UK with any issue they’re going through and lastly Save the Children who support children to learn, grow and become who they want to be.

My donation page is

News from the Services

Domestic Abuse Act 2021 - a new dawn

The long-awaited Domestic Abuse Bill gained Royal Assent on 29 April, providing additional protection to those who experience domestic abuse and strengthening measures to bring offenders to justice across the UK.

For the first time in history there is now a wide-ranging legal definition of ‘domestic abuse’ which extends beyond physical or sexual violence to also include, coercive or controlling, and economic abuse. New systems and measures for improved responses by professionals, are also now enshrined in law along with clear guidance and accountability. 

New duties, powers and measures placed upon statutory agencies will help ensure that people who experience domestic abuse and their children will have access to better support and systems to keep them safe from harm and fear.

Hertfordshire County Council now has a legal duty to provide support to victims and their children in refuges and other safe accommodation settings, such as sanctuary schemes, dispersed accommodation and refuge provision. This duty is set out in new statutory guidance and will require the council to work in partnership with district and borough councils and wider stakeholders.

To do this, we have an additional £2m from a national pot of £125m for the coming year to further develop the local service offer. Future funding will be determined via the Government’s commitment to provide a more sustainable funding framework, based on local needs assessments.

More information about the Domestic Abuse Act is contained in this Domestic Abuse Act: Factsheet - Home Office in the media (


A new goal for Healthy Start Food Campaign

Can you help the County Council reach 5,000 families who are missing out on Healthy Start food vouchers?

The vouchers were increased from £3.10 per child to £4.25 from April following lobbying from England footballer Marcus Rashford, who has now teamed up with TV chef Tom Kerridge to help provide families with recipes to make the most of the vouchers.   To access 52 great recipes, based on the voucher scheme, visit Full Time: Get cooking with Marcus & Tom by visiting FULL TIME MEALS - TOM KERRIDGE

If you are at least 10 weeks pregnant or have a child under four years old you could be entitled to Healthy Start Vouchers worth £4.25 per child per week (£8.50 if under 1)  to spend on milk, plain fresh or frozen fruit and vegetables, and instant formula milk. You can also use them to buy pulses and canned fruit and vegetables as long as they have no fat, salt, sugar or other flavouring added. The vouchers can be redeemed at local retailers.

If you are entitled to Healthy Start Vouchers you will also get free vitamins designed to help pregnant and breastfeeding women and growing children.

To be eligible you should be in receipt of certain means-tested benefits. Check your eligibility on Pregnant under 18 years olds qualify whether or not they are entitled to a qualifying benefit.

There are over 5,000 pregnant women and young children missing out on £221-£442 per child per year to spend on healthy food, so it’s important to be aware of this useful source of support.

Take-up of the vouchers is very low, around 45 percent of those eligible, so it is important to check eligibility as soon as possible to prevent missing out. Application leaflets are available from GP’s surgeries or baby clinics. Alternatively, a form can be obtained by ringing 0345 607 6823 or by downloading and printing one from

To access free information about benefits and check your eligibility, visit the benefit-checker on Hertfordshire County Council’s website:



Practice Week launches 14 June

Practice Week is almost here, an exciting time for us all to celebrate the good practice across Children’s Services. We will be holding this June’s Practice Week jointly with the Hertfordshire Safeguarding Children’s Partnership (HSCP) to highlight and share the great work across Children’s Services and the partnership and to learn from one another.

 The theme for this June’s Practice Week is ‘Working with Fathers and Partners’. This is such an important theme, a theme that has been explored in research and regularly comes up in Serious Case Reviews - there is so much learning to be gained from this topic.

 The launch event is on the 14 June, this will be an excellent morning full of learning (make sure the date is in your diary!) followed by a week of interesting workshops which will offer rich learning for us all around how we work with fathers and partners. Case file audits will take place as part of this June’s practice week which will provide great opportunities for practitioners and managers to show and share the great work that they are doing and for us to reflect on how our practice can be further improved further in this area.

 For more information on the workshops, or to book, please visit the June Practice Week iLearn Page.

 For further information about the upcoming Practice Week, please email

Looking for summer holiday activities to enjoy as a family and add structure to the day?

Summer family short courses are now available to book up at Hertfordshire Adult & Family Learning Service so if you are working with a parent or guardian who is looking for summer holiday activities to enjoy with their child, please ask them to visit

With Marvellous Maths, Fun Phonics and Story Explorers all taking place across the summer holidays, these 2-session, online courses at 9.30am will help give structure to your day before you head on out. As a Hertfordshire resident, you can access these fully-funded courses for free.

Here, tutor Joy talks about what you can gain from a phonics course with HAFLS;

(Youtube link: )

Besides our summer courses, we have a range of family learning courses spanning into the autumn, including adult-only courses to help on a range of family matters, including wellbeing and financial budgeting.

To browse and book, visit:


HERTS Awards 2021: Nominations Now Open!

Do you work with a Hertfordshire Child Looked After?

This is your chance to congratulate them for all their achievements while living and learning through lockdown!

The awards this year will focus on resilience during the pandemic and feature a special, one off, ‘Gold Standard’ award for all nominees. This award links to the Virtual School GOLD Standard Strategy which is the way we are supporting our young people to overcome the impact of the pandemic.

The Hertfordshire Virtual School GOLD Standard Strategy:

Greater Opportunities for Learning & Developing

The aim of this work is to create additional opportunities for children looked after to regain positivity and confidence in their ability to learn, achieve and succeed.

Nominations for HERTS Awards 2021 are now open and must be returned online before the closing date of 13th September 2021.

Our special HERTS Awards Fireworks Celebration will be held on Sunday 21st November at the Metropolitan in Bushey.

Please note, the HERTS Awards event will depend on the continuous improvement of the COVID 19 situation and will have all advised safety practices in operation for staff and for young people.

To submit your nomination/s, please visit the link below:

Nominate someone for a Herts Award - Virtual Schools (

Maternity transformational team updates – service user feedback surveys


The Hertfordshire and West Essex Local Maternity and Neonatal System has produced two surveys to gather the feedback and experience of women/birthing people.


Reducing Inequalities Black Asian and Minority support survey

This survey was launched on 1 May 2021 and aims to look at improving services and care for Black, Asian and Minority Ethnicities within maternity services in Hertfordshire and West Essex. The survey is aimed to be completed postnatally and a link to the survey can be found here:

 How was your maternity care? survey

This survey was launched on 24 May 2021 and aims to be completed postnatally and asks about their experiences of maternity care in Hertfordshire and West Essex. A link to the survey can be found here:

Both surveys will be ongoing to help us improve maternity services and therefore the results will be analysed on a monthly basis.

We would very much appreciate it if you could share this information with any relevant staff or service users. 

 If you have any queries, please email


CAMHS Redesign Digital Workstream needs to hear your views!

The CAMHS Redesign & Implementation Programme is seeking the views of professionals working across Hertfordshire’s Children and Young People’s Mental and Emotional Wellbeing System regarding online resources and websites.

 If you work with children and young people, please share your views in order to allow us to understand the digital needs of professionals working across our system. The survey will be open until 1 July 2021, and feedback will be used to inform the work of the CAMHS Redesign & Implementation Digital workstream.

The survey can be found here:

Hertfordshire's Professional Promise

Hertfordshire’s Professional Promise is our joint commitment to place children and young people with SEND, together with their families, at the centre of what we do, regardless of which organisation or team we are in.  It helps parents and carers to understand and be able to hold us to account for how we provide our services.

 It was co-produced with health, social care and education colleagues, and Hertfordshire Parent Carer Involvement (HPCI) shortly after the SEND reforms were introduced. 

 Much has happened since this was first established - various staff and team changes as well as a pandemic.  Now more than ever, we need to help children and young people with SEND and their families, know that we’re here to support them and that we respect and acknowledge their experiences and feelings.

 So, we are relaunching our Professional Promise, promoting it initially to professionals working with families with CYP with SEND across health, education and social care. 

 We’ve produced a short film starring some familiar faces from across our SEND services as well as young people with SEND, to explain why it is so important for all of us to keep this Promise. 

 We have produced a Leaders’ Toolkit - designed to spark conversation in team meetings and demonstrate how easy it is to embed the Promise into our day to day practice with families.   

 Many teams are already fulfilling the Promise and have Professional Promise Champions and our Learning and Development colleagues have included the Promise in a new SEND iLearn module, CS new starter inductions and are hosting a Professional Promise workshop at the next CS Managers Workshop 21 June.

 Between now and summer we will be promoting the Promise across the SEND workforce before promoting it to families as part of the refreshed SEND Strategy in September.

 Help us keep our Promise- Check out our website and watch our film to learn more

 And don’t forget to tell us how you are keeping the Promise so we can promote this with families in Hertfordshire:





Meet Erin, a 20-year old participant on the Building Better Opportunities project

The Building Better Opportunities (BBO) project, run by Hertfordshire Adult & Family Learning Service, is specially designed to help Hertfordshire participants move forwards.

Strive is for adults aged 19+ and Youth Futures for young people between 15 and 19 and both help move a participant towards their life goals, with:

  • One-to-one support and personalised mentoring
  • Training and engagement activities
  • Volunteering opportunities
  • Bursaries to help progress
  • Identifying training and/or job goals
  • Access to activities such as clubs, sports facilities and creative groups
  • Guidance, action plans and confidence building

Jointly funded by The National Lottery Community Fund and the European Social Fund, the project works with voluntary and community organisations across the county to deliver Building Better Opportunities to Hertfordshire residents.

Erin is one of the people whose story highlights how Building Better Opportunities can provide the opportunities to transform someone’s life.

We're so pleased to hear that thanks to the joint efforts of Erin's mentor at our BBO partner, The South Hill Centre, Dacorum Homeless Prevention, Hightown Housing Association and DENS, Erin was able to secure emergency accommodation when she needed it.

Better still, Erin now attends the DENS bike project which provides a relaxed atmosphere for people to learn a new skill and build their confidence with support. Participants work to refurbish bikes which are then sold on from the workshop. Each participant gets to keep a bike that they have worked on and Erin can use her bike to travel from The Elms to The Princes Trust Team Programme, which she's just started.

To qualify for Building Better Opportunities

For the Strive project: you must be 19 or over, be either registered unemployed or be economically inactive and not working.

For the Youth Futures project: you must be aged 15 to 19 (up to 21 if you are a care leaver or 25 if you are a young adult with disabilities), currently not in in education, employment, training or in danger of becoming NEET.

To learn more and apply direct or refer someone to the programme, visit


Would you like to know more about how we’re improving SEND services?


Everyone in Children’s Services is invited to attend any one or all of our upcoming briefings to hear more about all the activity taking place across the SEND Strategy Programme. 

We’ll tell you about what we have achieved so far, what is to come and what it means to our children, young people and professionals that support the world of SEND services, because we firmly believe that SEND is Everyone’s Business.  

Our updates will be short to allow plenty of time for discussion and questions.   Each session is themed so you can pick and choose which may be most relevant to your work. 

We look forward to seeing you!  

We have the following sessions planned and we’re planning more for the Autumn Term.

 Any questions please contact us





Specialist Provision including Specialist Resource Provisions (SRPs) & High Needs Funding (HNF)


9 June 2021


Click here to join the session

Local Offer, Information Advice & Support (IAS) & Delivering Special Provision Locally (DSPL)


14 July 2021


Click here to join the session

Education Health and Care Plans (EHCPS) & SEND Pathway Review


16 September 2021


Click here to join the session













Update your skills to better support children and young people with SEND

Over 1 in 10 of children and young people in schools in Hertfordshire have SEN Support and 8,338 children and young people have an Education Health and Care Plan – so if you work with children and young people it’s very likely that you are working with children with SEND. 

It is therefore essential that you have the skills and knowledge to confidently support children or young people with SEND and their families and/or carers. 

The SEND Transformation Programme identified that practitioners in non-SEND specialist services (early help and safeguarding teams) wanted more information about how to identify and respond to SEND in their work with families. 

As a result a team of practitioners from across health, education and social care, together with parent carers of children with SEND, have been designing elearning modules to achieve this. 

The result will be a suite of 3 modules and a resource hub, for any practitioner to access, no matter what organisation they work for. 

Resources are already available in the Hub for practitioners to use and Module 1, An Introduction to SEND, is available on iLearn.  It is mandatory for all CS staff, symbolising how SEND is everybody’s business.   It covers definitions, legislation, the Professional Promise and an opportunity to understand what SEND support available, using case studies.

We’re still working on the next modules: Working with CYP with SEND and their Families and Assessing and Meeting SEND Needs and will let you know when these are available. 

Let us know what you think and if you have ideas of what is needed in the Resource Hub:

Calling all Heroes



Wild World Heroes, Summer Reading Challenge 2021 will launch in Hertfordshire Libraries on Saturday 10 July! This year The Reading Agency is working together with the WWF UK to inspire young readers to stand up for our Planet!

 We are inviting this year’s young readers to take on our Free Challenge and join the six  Wild World Heroes in the Fictional town of ‘Wilderville’ where they have noticed some enviromental problems in their town. Working together the six young heroes would like children to join their adventure and help them solve these problems.

 To take part the children are asked to read any six books, our libraries have a ‘World Full’ of exciting books to choose from, including eBooks and eAudioBooks available on BorrowBox, so the children can have fun and go ‘Wild’ with their choices.

 For every two books read, the children will collect stickers (some are scratch and sniff). Using the clues and the town map, they can help the heroes on their adventure through ‘Wilderville’ helping them solve the enviromental problems and making it a better place for people and nature.

 The challenge runs the whole of the Summer. All children who finish the their six books by Saturday 4 September with receive a certificate, medal and a Wild Heroes bookmark. So join the fun and visit ‘Wilderville’ at your local Hertfordshire library and become a Wild World Hero caring about your planet too.

 For more details visit , call 0300 123 4049

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Herfordshire Music Service (HMS) launches new Services for Schools brochure for 2021-22

Hertfordshire Music Service (HMS) is delighted to launch its new Services for Schools brochure for 2021-22.

After a year of turbulence, everyone at HMS is focussed on ensuring that Hertfordshire’s children and young people have access to a rich and varied programme of musical opportunities and the wider educational, social and well-being benefits these bring.

The brochure has been sent to schools so that they can begin to book services for September 2021. To make booking services easier for schools a new online booking process has also been developed and launched. In addition to offering vocal and instrumental tuition the brochure describes how HMS can work in partnership with schools as part of the Hertfordshire Music Education Hub to offer bespoke musical activities and support available for identified vulnerable pupils, support with the new model music curriculum,  free training and CPD for school staff at all key stages and financial support packages for pupils.  Please visit to download or view the brochure online.

 Are you interested in music lessons for a child or young person?

Hertfordshire Music Service (HMS) instrumental and vocal lessons are available at over 330 schools in Hertfordshire, as well as our 12 music centres across the county. Lessons are available during the school day, or after school and at weekends at our 12 music centres More information about lessons and how to book is available on the Hertfordshire Music Service website

Maternity Transformational Update - Maternity Voices Partnership (MVP)

The Maternity Voices Partnership (MVP) is an independent working group of women, birthing people and their families, commissioners and maternity service staff working together to review and develop local maternity care. They meet regularly to share information and updates and to collect feedback from service users around their maternity experiences. Each hospital Trust has an MVP group that they work with to co-produce/improve services.

 There are three MVP groups which work across the Hertfordshire and West Essex Local Maternity and Neonatal System, these are:

Lister MVP –

West Essex MVP –

West Herts MVP -


We are currently trying to promote the groups to both staff and service users and would be really grateful if you could share the above information.

 If you would like any more information, please contact

SEND News - June

Keeping you up-to-date with Hertfordshire's SEND information

Welcome to the SEND News bulletin

In this issue:

  • Improvements in EHCPs
  • Carers week 7 - 14 June
  • Parental conflict and relationship support
  • Events - half term special

Please let us know if you have any problems viewing this e-newsletter or if you have any articles to contribute to the next edition by emailing

Corporate News

EU Settlement Scheme - 50 days left to apply

On Tuesday 11 May, there will be only 50 days to go until the deadline of 30 June 2021 for applications to be made to the EU Settlement Scheme (EUSS).

The 50 day milestone is an important opportunity for us to work together to bring the fast-approaching deadline to the attention of your eligible EU employees.

All EU, EEA and Swiss citizens and their family members who were resident in the UK by 31 December 2020, should apply without delay so that they can continue to work, study, and access free healthcare and benefits in the UK after 30 June 2021. 

As an employer it is not your responsibility to make sure your EU employees have applied, but you can play a role by reminding them of the approaching deadline and cascading the information in the employer toolkit available on GOV.UK. 

You will not need to carry out retrospective Right to Work Checks on existing employees after the 30 June 2021 deadline. However, from 1 July, new EU, EEA and Swiss employees that you hire will need to demonstrate their right to work either with the pre-settled or settled status, or with a visa under the points-based immigration system.

Home Office Communications

Learning & Development

Join the Conversation learning events

Technology Awareness Support are hosting Join the Conversation events designed to help you gain confidence in using and adopting new tools into your daily working practices.

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​The Join the Conversation events are:

 hosted by our skilled Technology Awareness trainers, via a Microsoft Team meeting

  • open to all and serve as a forum for all colleagues to learn new skills, share experiences and raise questions
  • focus on the key features of new and existing applications, plus tips and guidance on how to use them
  • advertised in Colleagues’ Update, Yammer and in the Technology Awareness Features and Tips Microsoft Teams Channel

 See our Join the Conversation schedule of events so you can plan ahead and join the one best suited to you.


Check out HR Learning and Development’s July courses

HR Learning and Development have a number of courses running in the month of July via MS Teams that may be of benefit to you:


Written Communication - 1st July 9:30am-1pm

Delegation: Achieving Results - 1st July 1:30-5pm

Giving feedback - 7th July 9:30am-1pm

Objective setting - 7th July 1:30-5pm

Disability Inclusive Management - 15th July 9:30am-1pm

Managing ill health - 21st July 9:30am-12:30pm

Excel: The Basics of Formatting and Filtering - 6th July 2-3:30pm

Excel: More Complex Formulas and Functions - 14th July 9:30-11am

Excel: More Complex Formatting and Filtering - 14th July 11:30am-1pm

Excel: Manipulating Pivot Tables and Charts - 14th July 2-3:30pm

 If you are unable to make the dates but are still interested in attending the course, there is an option when you book on to be put on the waitlist for the next available course date.

 You can also see our full training calendar and how to book on here.

 If you have any questions or want to know more about our learning offer, please contact HRLearning& or visit our Learning and Development intranet page



My Teen Brain – Thematic Half Day

“Anxiety, stress and the teenage brain”

Presenters Sarah Darton and John Coleman

This workshop is suitable for those who have already attended the My Teen Brain training.  The workshop will review evidence on mental health conditions as a result of the pandemic and the subsequent lockdown experiences.  We will specifically consider anxiety and stress, and how these might be understood in the present context.  There will be a focus on the latest research on the teenage brain, showing how new learning can assist professionals working with young people at the present time.  The workshop will include a presentation on a trauma-informed approach to mental health, including evidence on the impact of early adversities on brain development.  The workshop will also include short activities to explore the best approaches to the management of stress and anxiety in young people.

This workshop is running on 21 June in the afternoon and and 15 September in the morning with limited places available. 

15 Sept                            21 June

9.30 – 9.45                       2.00 – 2.15          Introduction

9.45 – 10.00                     2.15 – 2.30         Activity 1  - What do teenagers find stressful?

10.00 – 10.15                   2.30 – 2.45         Feedback

10.15. – 11.00                 2.45 – 3.30         Presentation 1  - Stress, anxiety and brain development

11.00 – 11.15                   3.30 – 3.45         Break

11.15 – 12.00                   3.45 – 4.30         Presentation 2 – A trauma-informed approach to young people experiencing adversity

12.00 – 12.15                   4.30 – 4.45         Activity 2 – What can adults do?

12.15 – 12.30                   4.45 – 5.00         Feedback and final questions.

To book, please use the following links;

My Teen Brain, Thematic half day - “Anxiety, stress and the teenage brain” Tickets, Mon 21 Jun 2021 at 14:00 | Eventbrite

My Teen Brain, Thematic half day - “Anxiety, stress and the teenage brain” Tickets, Wed 15 Sep 2021 at 09:30 | Eventbrite

My Teen Brain Training Dates for Professionals Working with Teens - 2021

My Teen Brain focuses on a key stage of brain development and shows how changes in the adolescent brain, in conjunction with experience and environment, can affect emotions, relationships, behaviours, sleep and attitudes to risk.  

The initiative aims to raise awareness and provide practical information and strategies to professionals. This training along with a range of resources, will enable you to support young people through this time of change.

Professionals working with young adolescents (10-15)  and/or their families are invited to attend a free one-day multi-agency training which will look at changes to the adolescent brain, risks and behaviours and how the learning can help a strength-based approach to practice.


 Dates available are:

Wednesday 9th June 2021 :          10am – 3pm

Thursday 15th July 2021 :             10am – 3pm

Tuesday 21st September 2021      10am – 3pm           

Thursday 21st October 2021         10am – 3pm            Spaces still available

 You can book onto the free one-day training here

 More Information on the changes that take place in the teen brain is available on our dedicated website


My Baby’s Brain Online Training Programme—Autumn 2021

My Baby’s Brain has been running in Hertfordshire since 2011.  In that time, the challenges that families face have evolved, particularly this last year as a result of the current pandemic. To ensure parents continue to be supported at the earliest opportunity, Early Help Commissioning have worked with partners KCA to refresh My Baby’s Brain training to allow for a greater depth of learning for professionals working with young families with additional focus on resilience and managing toxic stress. 

Now online, training is a 3 stage learning programme combining webinars, e-learning and small group tutorials.  To register

Please choose your learning strand A or B

Use the link to book your choice of step 2 tutorial dates

Complete your 2 webinars either live or access the recordings and e-learning before attending your live tutorial

Strand A

My Baby’s Brain Universal : for all professionals working with young families 0-5 years old                         Registration link


Strand B

My Baby’s Brain Targeted : for all professionals working with more vulnerable and targeted families Registration link


Step 1 A&B Contextualisation Webinar: Toxic Stress and Community Resilience: 14th September at 10am (90 mins)

Five to Thrive promoting recovery from trauma. Understanding the impact of unregulated stress on brain function and promoting recovery for traumatised people.

Step 2A. My Baby’s Brain webinar: 6th Oct at 10am (90 mins)

Understand the parenting processes  that underpin healthy brain development,    promoting secure attachment, confident and reflective parenting.

Step 3A. My Baby’s Brain Tutorials: Using Five to Thrive in Practice 3rd OR 10th November at 10am

Small group discussions to share practice and reflect on the application of learning in the work place.


Step 2B. Network Resilience, Secondary Trauma and Five to Thrive Webinar : 7th Oct at 10am (90 mins)                

Understand the impact of living and working with traumatised people and how to prevent and manage secondary trauma.


Step 3B. My Baby’s Brain Tutorials: 4th OR 11th November at 10am 

Small group discussions to share practice and reflect on application of learning, promoting recovery from trauma and building community resilience.

My Baby’s Brain Online Training Programme

Questions and Answers

If I’ve done MBB before do I have to/can I do this training?

This is a refreshed new version of MBB so you are welcome to attend this training even if previously done the MBB five to thrive.

I work with both universal/targeted which do I pick?

Choose the strand which covers the majority of your work. Or share between your team so you have a mix of universal/targeted and can all access the learning.

Is there a cost?

No this is funded by Early Help Commissioning.

Do I have to access the webinar live or will it be recorded?

You can attend the webinars live and attend the live chat or access the recordings later.

For the tutorials, you must commit to attending on the specified date/time.  Once registered for your tutorial date, you will be given links to access to the webinars.

CS Learning and Development June Newsletter

The June edition is now available - Children’s Services Learning and Development Newsletter


 This month’s edition, you will find information about…


If you have any feedback please let us know by emailing

Congratulations & Compliments

Congratulations to Lauren Penrose

We would like to congratulate Lauren Penrose from Family Support and Young People’s Services, on completing the End Point Assessments (EPA) for the Chartered Manager Degree Apprenticeship, Level 6, CMDA. Lauren achieved a distinction and an overall grade of 82%.  An amazing result!

 Lauren will receive CMI Chartered Status as a result of completing the EPA and will receive a certificate from the ESFA confirming her completion of the apprenticeship element of the programme.

 CMI has been setting the bar for best practice in management and leadership for over 60 years and this a highly valued apprenticeship qualification.

 Well done Lauren!


Olivia Rouget - You are a star!

Congratulations to Olivia Rouget who wins May's `You are a star' award. 

Olivia is a support officer for the Appeal Preparation Team within Admissions an Transport and was nominated by Cherry MacAllister who said: 

"Since the beginning of the pandemic, Olivia has developed new ways of continuing the service delivery in what was traditionally a very paper-based process.  She has embraced the new technology available to ensure the Appeals Preparation Team has functioned and actually improved their processes in this very difficult time.  Alongside this, she has stepped up and taken the lead in arranging training sessions for colleagues, using the new process and technology for the forthcoming very busy period.

"Olivia’s work in the Appeals Preparation Team is always accurate and she ensures that all correct information is added to the appeals that is presented on behalf of schools.  The improvements that she has developed in processes, has not only made them more streamlined, but there are great financial savings in the reduction in paperwork and time saving.  Her use of new technological improvements ensures more information is being captured accurately.  

"Olivia has used her experience and knowledge of the appeals preparation process to improve and streamline a new, more innovative system. Olivia is hearing impaired and with the introduction of ‘Teams’ and the telephone ‘Relay’ service, she has found ways of making improvements for the Team and her own communication personally."

Well done Olivia

Karen Raven - `You are a star'

Congratulations to Karen Raven, Project Officer from the Early Years Service, who is the winner of May's `You are a star' award.

Karen was nominated by Alex Brace who said: 

"Over the past few weeks Karen has been involved in making sure the Winter Support Grant scheme has been delivered to families with young children across Hertfordshire. This has involved identifying and contacting over 2,600 vulnerable families and organising over 1,800 supermarket vouchers to support some of our most disadvantaged families. This has had to be completed in a very short timescale. In order to make this happen Karen has gone above and beyond, creating and organising new processes to make this work, organising and directing colleagues as necessary and tirelessly working to ensure that we met the deadlines set by DfE so that families in Hertfordshire could get the support they needed through this scheme.

 "Karen’s main drive for this was to ensure that as many eligible families as possible could access and receive these vouchers demonstrating a Citizen Focused approach. Karen also wanted to guarantee that none of the funds awarded to HCC from DfE were wasted as there were expiry dates attached to this project meaning any funds not allocated to families would be returned (Every Penny Counts).

 "Alongside this Karen expended considerable time and effort to double check processes in their set-up and submission in their execution in an effort to making sure we were Getting it Right for all involved."

Well deserved Karen.

Star Bursts

“Star Bursts” - sharing little compliments that mean a lot.

It only needs to be a sentence complimenting or thanking a member of staff. It can be from yourself or a service user. It’s simply a recognition of all the good work our staff do.  Each quarter we will be collating all the compliments and sharing them. Please send to

Lynne Shine – Development & Commissioning Officer – Early Help Commissioning

 Lynne has been managing the commissioning of the Parenting Together programme  (Reducing Parental Conflict) for over 1 year. She has made excellent relationships with the 6 other authorities also delivering the programme and as such has successfully commissioned new roles to improve outcomes for children and families experiencing high levels of frequent, unresolved parental conflict by delivering coordinated early help support to families at the earliest opportunity and before their needs escalate to crisis point. Lynne is very passionate about supporting families and this is transferred to all her colleagues.

 Jim Mills-Baker and Melanie Wiltshire from a service user

 “I wanted to thank you both for your support and kindness at a time (*) lost all faith in the justice system.  I know you were both doing your jobs, but we both felt you saw (*)  as the real deal. This was very comforting at a time of great turmoil. P.S. (*) got an A* in her ‘ criminal psychology’ Paper last week."

 Shakerah Brown from service users

“'I really enjoyed being able to sit down with you and have a private conversation where I didn't feel judged” from a young person"

 “I found it easy speaking to you as my SASH social worker. You helped me to not feel scared about putting rules and boundaries in place. You also helped me to see some of the positives.” From a parent"

 “Many thanks Shakerah for your hard work and dedication you put into all the families and YP you work with.” From Maggie Wiggins


Steve Gibbs, Senior Practitioner, For Baby’s Sake from service users

 “I find it very useful – if I don’t understand, you explain things in a way I can understand. Everything is good about the way we work together. Weekly calls are manageable and there is some flexibility to continue a call if I am out.”

 “I feel able to tell you things that I don’t normally tell other people – that feels like a relief once I talk about those things. I’m happy with the information I get back in response to my problems.“

 Natalie Searle, Senior Practitioner MASH team from Sophie Whelan

 “I am in my first 6-months at HCC and the MASH Team and Natalie has been the best supervisor I could have asked for, and undoubtedly she helped me in passing my Probation Period – she is always on hand with practical suggestions, advice and useful resources, as well as just generally being a happy, approachable and kind person to work with. Thank you!”

 Michelle Branson,  People & Wildlife Officer from Leanne Clayton

 "Michelle  joined us mid pandemic in February 2021 and has become a fantastic asset to our team! Michelle leads on delivering nature based sessions for young people, who are at risk of developing or live with emotional wellbeing issues, for our Go Wild at Hudnall project. She has stepped into the role with ease and has worked really hard to make sure the young people have had the most wonderful and memorable time with us at Hudnall Park."

 Shara Watt, Manager of the 0-25 team and Yazzmyn Hudson PFA and all the 0-25 Together Team from Gerry Lambie

 “For all their support whilst I was on my 6 month secondment. It was a struggle to learn a new role whilst in lockdown and all their support made it a lot easier and without them this could have affected my own health and wellbeing. Thank you,  you are amazing workers keep up the fantastic work."








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