How to hold a virtual Team Around the Family (TAF) meeting
Some families will continue to require an Early Help multi-agency approach to support them with their needs.
Where families and practitioners are unable to get together please do consider a virtual TAF.
Zoom & Teams are useful platforms to do this.
Before the meeting
A person who the family trusts can discuss with the family the benefits of having a TAF. See our Early help leaflet to print and share with parents (DOCX, 169KB).
Liaising with the family, discuss who should attend virtually , and agree a suitable date. Practitioners who are invited and cannot attend virtually should provide apologies and a brief update report.
Collect emails or phone numbers (this depends on what hosting site you will be using) for all virtual attendees including parents and children. Arrange for someone (other than the coordinator) to record the TAF on the Early Help Plan during the meeting.
During the meeting
Introduce yourself and ask everyone to do the same, one at time beginning with the family.
As you could be working from home, ensure you are all in a confidential space to have the meeting. Check parents are able to speak away from their children where it is not appropriate for the children to hear the discussion. Discuss how long the virtual TAF is likely last so parents can take that into account.
Ask each virtual member to say their name before they speak, if not using video.
Where this is the first TAF meeting the co-ordinator should provide a brief overview of why the TAF has been organised.
Ask each member of the family present for their views of the current family situation.
Then ask the practitioners present for their views using the headings within the Early Help Plan template.
Review of the latest action plan (only applies to review meetings).
Agree new actions.
Agree next steps making any arrangements for a further TAF before everyone leaves (closure, review meetings and anything else).
Agree how the plan will be distributed to everybody including the family.
As the co-ordinator you must leave the meeting last-as the call/video will be ended when you leave.
The initial TAF meeting should take place as soon as practical.
The completed Early Help Plan should be distributed securely as soon as possible to all attendees including parents.
The TAF should collectively agree the first review date at the initial TAF. Dates will vary depending on circumstances.
Timescales between TAF reviews could be between 2 weeks and 3 months depending on the needs of the family.
At each review, consider if a multi-agency response is still required and if the meetings need to continue.
Our Team Around the Family Support Officers (TAFSO) can support you to feel confident holding Team Around the Family Meetings and completing Early Help Plans.
Email your Team around the Family Support Officer asking for contact to be made with you: TAFSO@essex.gov.uk