Supporting Newham Council CPS

The Language Shop Supports Newham Council Child Protection Services with innovative video solution.

The Brief

London Borough of Newham’s (LBN) Child Protection Team is often faced with challenges whereby the families they are supporting cannot speak or read English. In these circumstances securing effective interpreting support services is key to safeguarding and effective communication.

Ahead of a child protection conference, families are sent an FAQ document that outlines the objective and form of the meeting.  However, it was identified by the CP team that letter-based communication was inappropriate for a number of reasons: many families do not read English, and even if the letters were translated, many families may not have a good command of their written native language.

What we delivered

LBN Child Protection team came to TLS with this problem and asked us to consider potential solutions. After a long discussion about the process and objective, TLS and LBN settled on video content in Newham’s top languages.  The FAQs document would be made into short videos, with a TLS interpreter reading these FAQs and answering them. The aim was to prepare non-English speaking families for the conference, explain who would be there and the purpose. LBN hoped that this would save time at the beginning of the conference and ensure that families came prepared and reassured.

TLS produced high quality videos in a variety of languages using our interpreters, who specialise in working with children and people in vulnerable situations.

We have worked in partnership with LBN for a number of years providing both face to face and remote interpreting and translation services. This project was an example of how we offer our customers much more than interpreting & translation services, we are able to help them resolve complex communication issues and improve their processes.

The Child Protection Conference FAQs videos are hosted on YouTube and sent to all families with limited English skills before their conference meeting.

Jacqueline Addinall, Service Manager at Newham Children’s Services explains:In the case of meetings involving child protection, where often parents do not have English as their first language, the videos have become absolutely essential to us for doing two things. Firstly, it acknowledges that we understand they don’t speak English and we are therefore breaking down the language barrier immediately and secondly it tells them that we understand that they may need a bit of time to process the often very complex information they need to know. The video is something they can go back and watch several times before they meet with us which allows them to feel prepared for what’s to come in what can be quite an intimidating process for someone who has never experienced it before.”

Amy Soutter, Head of Client Delivery at The Language Shop concludes: “The feedback we have received on the video content for the child protection team has been so positive and its rewarding to know that we can come up with innovative solutions for customers that ultimately enable them to deliver the best possible service to their residents.”