Meet Jack Caine, Partnership Coordinator for the One Reading Early Intervention Partnership

Jack Caine is Partnership Coordinator (Practice) for the One Reading Early Intervention Partnership. Here he explains about the work of the partnership, and his role in linking professionals and families with help and support
Tell us about your role for One Reading…

The One Reading partnership is a community of professionals and services (statutory services, schools, health, police, voluntary and community sector etc) who are committed to intervening earlier in their work with children, young people and their families to improve outcomes. The One Reading partnership is underpinned by the local consensus—an agreement between these partners which outlines shared principles and outcomes towards this objective.

My role has been created to promote Early Help arrangements around the partnership. I provide support to professionals who are working with families who do not meet the threshold for targeted Early Help or Children’s Social Care. Professionals can speak to me directly for help, but I also coordinate support for cases which are referred to the partnership via the Children’s Single Point of Access or stepped down from Early Help services. In some cases, professionals may be invited to contribute to multi-agency meetings to discuss families and young people who they would like to help. In other cases, advice and guidance may be given directly or professionals may be linked to local services.

Describe a typical working day for you…

A fair amount of work goes into the organisation of our partnership hub meetings and coordinating support for professionals. This can entail anything from coordinating (and occasionally chairing) meetings, to brokering services from the voluntary sector, to completing ‘deep dives’ of data from the Children’s Single Point of Access, to visiting schools or partners from the voluntary sector directly to talk about solutions for families. In addition to this, part of my time is spent contributing to project work which overlaps with my main role. I am currently coordinating and organising the Understanding Parental Conflict Training and have been asked to contribute to a new-look Parenting Strategy for Reading. I also seek out some of the content for this newsletter!

What’s the most challenging part of your job?

Working together to find solutions for families is rewarding and can lead to positive outcomes. However, multi-agency working and early intervention is often like putting the pieces of a puzzle together. There is rarely a one-size-fits-all solution, and significant work often needs to be done to find the best possible pathways for professionals to support the families they work with. Persistence is also required in following up with colleagues to ensure they have what they need.

What’s the best part of your job?

Hearing that families have been able to engage with services that they may not have accessed otherwise is always exciting. Occasionally, we have also been able to link up colleagues with direct help from statutory services. I also enjoy going out to meet colleagues in schools and in the voluntary sector to find out about their amazing work.

Tell us a little about yourself and your background…

Delivering improved outcomes for children and families is a key passion of mine. My previous work as a teacher in different school settings highlighted the effectiveness of addressing family challenges early in the life of the problem. In previous roles, I had to work directly with families and young people who had a huge variety of different needs, including SEND, children looked after, behavioural, emotional and mental health difficulties as well as victims of domestic abuse or coercive control. I have always enjoyed working holistically with families and other professionals to address challenges. In my experience, teachers and family workers are often compelled to work with individual pieces of the jigsaw, and this can inhibit the ability of well-meaning practitioners to achieve good results for their families. This new role has offered an opportunity to join up professionals to share information, problem solve and ultimately, work closer to the source of identified problems.

I have a degree in English and Politics and still attempt to read regularly—although I’m usually more successful carrying a book around than I am at reading it. I enjoy baking bread (so long as I am praised disproportionately for how it tastes) and regular swimming (including the occasional open water event). When I’m not working in Reading I can usually be found in the Harris Arcade in search of a bargain from the Sound Machine!