Trial scheme aims to sup­port at-risk chil­dren

Macclesfield Express - - YOUR VIEWS -

A TRIAL project aimed at pro­tect­ing vul­ner­a­ble chil­dren and fam­i­lies is com­ing to Mac­cles­field.

The project of­fers help to with things like par­ent­ing skills, sup­port to stop chil­dren play­ing tru­ant and con­flict man­age­ment to stop chil­dren get­ting into trou­ble with po­lice.

A new cen­tre will be estab­lished in the town with a team of sup­port staff and vol­un­teers help­ing fam­i­lies who may be brought to the at­ten­tion of so­cial ser­vices.

The scheme has been run over the past two years by the coun­cil backed with gov­ern­ment fund­ing to help pre­vent chil­dren, young peo­ple and fam­i­lies from fall­ing into the care or jus­tice sys­tem.

The project, which started in Crewe and is funded with a grant from the Depart­ment for Ed­u­ca­tion, has been found to be ef­fec­tive and has now been ex­tended to Mac­cles­field and across the bor­ough.

The trial, by Cheshire East with Catch22, a not-for-profit so­cial busi­ness, aims to sup­port at-risk chil­dren and re­duce re­peat re­fer­rals to agen­cies, in­clud­ing so­cial ser­vices and the pro­ba­tion ser­vice, by en­sur­ing that fam­i­lies re­ceive all the nec­es­sary sup­port they need.

This help may be from rel­e­vant agen­cies and the vol­un­tary sec­tor.

It de­vel­ops and tests ways to help chil­dren in need, who re­quire ad­di­tional sup­port for their health and well­be­ing. The coun­cil be­lieves the work in Crewe has proved that early in­ter­ven­tion helps to avoid more costly mea­sures in the longer term. Peer men­tors, fam­ily prac­ti­tion­ers and so­cial work­ers have been in­volved in de­liv­er­ing the project and the Depart­ment for Ed­u­ca­tion has now re­leased its eval­u­a­tion, which has shown that Project Crewe has ‘promis­ing in­di­ca­tions of im­pact’.

Coun Ge­orge Hayes, cab­i­net mem­ber for chil­dren and fam­i­lies, said: “We be­lieve that early in­ter­ven­tion works and a core fo­cus of our chil­dren’s ser­vices is to en­sure our chil­dren and young peo­ple are safe from harm, sup­ported into ed­u­ca­tion and em­ploy­ment and are helped to avoid se­ri­ous so­cial and be­havioural prob­lems in the fu­ture.”

Chris Wright, chief ex­ec­u­tive of Catch22, a non-for-profit so­cial busi­ness, said: “The re­sults from Project Crewe should mark a sea change in the way we ap­proach and de­sign so­cial work in­ter­ven­tions.

“The eval­u­a­tion proves con­clu­sively that it is the qual­ity of the re­la­tion­ship that mat­ters to a young per­son and not the ti­tle of the per­son who is deal­ing with their prob­lems.”

Cheshire East is pro­vid­ing ad­di­tional fund­ing of £585,000 to ex­tend the project un­til July 2018.

For fur­ther in­for­ma­tion visit uk/livewell/livewell. aspx.

Coun Ge­orge Hayes

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