North East and North Cumbria (NE and NC) Keyworker Service

The North East/North Cumbria Keyworking service is now commissioned by the Integrated Care Board. If you have any further enquiries, please contact Daisy Chain (for Durham, Darlington, Hartlepool, Stockton, Redcar, Middlesbrough) and Skills for People (Newcastle, Northumberland, North Cumbria, Gateshead, Sunderland, South Tyneside and North Tyneside)

Why do we have keyworkers?

We are aware that it can sometimes be difficult to navigate all the different people and teams in health, social care and education services. However, when you are also caring for and supporting your own a child or young person who has lots of different needs, it can be even more complicated.

These issues for families were highlighted in a report called ‘These are our Children’ by Dame Christine Lenehen from the Council for Disabled Children. In this report, Christine Lenehen made a key recommendation that:

  • Every child or young person in an inpatient setting (due to their mental health, autism and/or a learning disability) or
  • Every child or young person at risk of going into an inpatient setting (due to their mental health, autism and/or a learning disability) should have a keyworker based in the child’s home area.

The recommendation also said that this Keyworker should have “authority and expertise” to support the young person and their family to navigate the system and act as a key contact for them.

Please visit the NHS England website for more information about keyworking.

What will a keyworker do?

  • Act as a main point of contact for children, young people and their families.
  • Support parents to feel well informed about what is going on for their child or young person and able to make genuinely informed choices based on all the information.
  • Offer clear lines of communication and support for parents.
  • Understand what support should be provided in a way which recognises the needs of the whole family for support.
  • Strengthen the rights and choices for people to live in the community.
  • Aim to avoid unnecessary admission to a mental health inpatient unit.
  • Where necessary, to facilitate discharge from a mental health inpatient unit.
  • Ensure that the voice of the children, young person and their family is at the heart of decision making.

PLease watch this short video describing what keyworkers do

Also available by scanning this QR code
North East and North Cumbria Keyworker Video QR code

What do keyworkers offer?

  • Main point of contact for child/young person and family.
  • Link with Care Education and Treatment Reviews (CETR).
  • Access to Positive Behaviour Support (PBS) resources.
  • Support co-ordinated and personalised packages of care.
  • Advocate, support, challenge and influence.
  • Make sure child/young person and family at centre of any planning and discussions.

How does a child or young person get a keyworker?

Currently a keyworker must be offered to all children and young people who are rated Red/Amber on the Dynamic support register and Care (Education) and Treatment Review website

Dynamic support register and Care (Education) and Treatment Review policy and guide

Dynamic support register and Care (Education) and Treatment Review policy and guide: plain English version

 If you live in the following areas, the keyworker service is provided by Skills for People:
logo - Skills for People

  • North Cumbria
  • Northumberland
  • Newcastle
  • Gateshead
  • North Tyneside
  • South Tyneside
  • Sunderland
     If you live in the following areas, the keyworker service is provided by Daisy Chain:
    logo - Daisy Chain

  • Durham
  • Stockton
  • Middlesbrough
  • Darlington
  • Hartlepool
  • Redcar
  • What is the Dynamic Support Register (DSR)?

    • A ‘live’ record of people with a learning disability and autistic people who need support because they have needs that might lead to a crisis or mental health inpatient admission.
    • The record identifies health and care support a person needs to stay well at home and who is responsible for ensuring this support is in place.
    • People on the DSR are at risk of going into hospital if they do not get the right care and treatment in the community.

    How do I find out about more information about our local Dynamic Support Register?
    The new Integrated Care Boards (ICBs) have overall responsibility for their local DSRs. Local areas must publish their criteria, process and point of contacts for on local ICB websites, including the Local Offer website, which is part of the SEND offer.

    How to get onto a DSR:

    • Each Local Authority area holds a Dynamic Support Register.
    • With consent, any professional is able to refer a family to the Dynamic Support Register. DSR group members will then decide whether the child/young person meets criteria.
    • People are now able to self-refer onto the Dynamic Support Register

    Local authority contacts
    Gateshead – Rachel Lucas – [email protected]
    Newcastle – Rachel Lucas – [email protected]
    Durham – Charlotte Smalley – [email protected]
    Northumberland – Rebecca – [email protected]
    South Tyneside – Sarah GoLightly – [email protected]
    North Cumbria – Julie Cameron – [email protected]
    North Tyneside – Sue Wood
    Sunderland – Michelle Underwood- [email protected]
    Tees Valley – Mark Porter – [email protected]

    What skills do the keyworkers have?

    • Empathic/understanding
    • Respectful
    • Willingness to learn
    • Active listener
    • Positive and solution focused
    • Committed
    • Compassionate
    • Collaborative

    Young people’s feedback

    Parent feedback

    Thanks today for your support, it was probably the darkest day of my life and when we hit a wall of silence you were always there, cannot thank you enough.

    I wouldn’t trust my daughter with anyone, but I would trust our keyworker anyday.

    If it wasn’t for our key worker we wouldn’t be where we are no … She has gone above and beyond her duties and has been outstanding during our darkest days. If she can help others like she has helped us the world will be a better place.

    Key Worker has gone above and beyond her role. She has not only been the link between a YP care providers and the care team, has shown compassion and a caring attitude while remaining professional throughout.

    Our family is going through the most challenging and heart-breaking time that we could ever have imagined. We are extremely grateful to our key worker for being there to help us to carry on.

    What do professionals say:

    Adele’s role as a complex key worker is unique in that it creates a bridge between home and school and also provides the much needed view point of the child. I think we would have been at a total loss without Adele on the particular case she worked on. She has the ability to gain the trust of the family and the school at a time when relationships between home and school may be tested, particularly if a child is struggling to attend. She provides practical solutions, a listening ear but is also able to gently challenge the perspectives of everyone involved in order to move things forward. (What Three Words: compassion, understanding and hope)