With Stockport manager Sarah Cook...
ACCORDING to a new report, dealing with acute future social problems affecting children and young people in England and Wales costs £17bn a year of public money, of that, £5bn is spent each year on children in care.
That’s why here at Home-Start, we believe that early intervention is the key to stopping family issues spiralling out of control and reaching the point where statutory services get involved.
Dealing with what are referred to as ‘troubled families’ or ‘broken Britain’, frontline services are called in to address issues that are often entrenched in a family’s life or the community in which they live.
These families have intergenerational problems such as worklessness, lack of basic parenting skills and neglect.
These are costly, reactive services. For many families, you can catch them before they fall, with investment in an early intervention approach.
Early intervention is a proven, cost-effective delivery model, which can prevent crisis and family breakdown and protect both a vulnerable child and a parent that’s suffering in silence.
It paves the way for a mum or dad to parent their child in the best way.
In Greater Manchester many families will be receiving Home-Start support, but for different reasons.
Aside from poverty, there are numerous other issues affecting a parent’s ability to cope.
Such issues have no relationship to class, culture or social position – domestic abuse, post natal depression, relationship breakdown can affect anyone and all have a significant impact on a child’s early life and cause a parent to need early intervention support.
What our volunteers do, and do well, is support a family long before their problems have become so complex that expensive agencies need to get involved.
Home-Start support works because it’s tailor-made to each family’s needs. It’s delivered in a practical and or emotional, non-judgemental way, empowering a family to start make more positive choices for their children.
If more funding and investment is given to charities such as HomeStart, then we may find one day that that £17bn bill of public money may start to reduce.
To find out more about volunteering with Hone-Start, visit www. home-start.org.uk or call 0800 068 63 68.