Trial scheme aims to support at-risk children
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 cheshireeast.gov. uk/livewell/livewell. aspx.
Coun George Hayes