Rossendale Free Press
£6.3m bid to keep children out of care
A NEW £6.3million drive to support families in a bid to keep vulnerable children out of local council care has been launched across Lancashire.
It aims to bring together different services in a partnership to help such young people to stay safe at home.
Lancashire County Council - working with organisations including the police, probation services, health teams and alcohol and drugs recovery groups - has formed a Family Safeguarding Service.
Social workers will focus on entire families rather than only children - working alongside psychologists and mental health workers, domestic abuse and recovery practitioners - so parents can access support within one team.
The county successfully bid for £6.3m to adopt the Family Safeguarding Model through the Department for Education’s Strengthening Families Protecting Children programme.
Now 21 of these teams will work across the whole of Lancashire.
Coun Phillippa Williamson, the county council’s children’s services boss, said: “This new approach, working in partnership with many organisations, will offer wrap-around support for families, particularly those facing issues with mental health, domestic abuse and substance misuse.
“This groundbreaking approach is proven to be highly successful in improving outcomes for children and families.
“Having specialist workers and children’s social care experts working together in multi-disciplinary co-located teams on issues should avert families reaching crisis point and the need for children to go into care.”
She added: “We believe that parents are capable of change, and with the right support around them, they can be successful as parents.
“This way of working has been successful in other areas and I am delighted that we are adopting it here.”