The government’s chief social worker for children and families has praised a ‘transformational’ new service that aims to keep families in Lancashire together.
Lancashire County Council, working with organisations including the police, probation services, health teams and alcohol and drugs recovery organisations, launched the Family Safeguarding Service in January, with the aim of transforming how support is given to children and families to help them to succeed.
With the number of children in care increasing, this new approach is supporting families to get the help they need so that their children can remain safely at home.
Social workers are now focussing on entire families rather than only children, working alongside psychologists and mental health workers, domestic abuse officers and practitioners, and recovery workers, so parents can access support within one team.
This strength-based approach supports parents to make positive changes to family life after they have been referred to children’s services.
It aims to keep families together and offer particular support around domestic violence, mental health and substance misuse. Parents are motivated to identify the changes that are needed within their own families.
Speaking at an online event to formally launch the service, chief social worker, Isabelle Trowler, said: ‘This is a great moment, the beginning of Lancashire’s transformative journey towards delivering Family Safeguarding.
‘The programme is a really important one and the transformational nature of it means that things can be really different for children and their families in the future. Lancashire has made enormous progress and the fact that they have got this far in the context of the pandemic is incredible.’
Lancashire County Council said more than 600 people attended the celebration event including representatives from education and children’s services, police and community safety, district councils, health, commissioning and delivery services and fire and rescue, substance misuse and recovery services.
At the event, partners including the police shared their experiences of this new way of working and the feedback from the families they’re working closely with. A family and a young person shared their personal experience and thoughts about the service in Lancashire.
Cllr Phillippa Williamson, cabinet member for children, young people, and schools, who also attended the event, said: ‘We have always seen this as a partnership project, those partnerships are essential to success.
‘The wellbeing of local children and families is always our first priority and it’s fantastic to hear the changes we’ve made by working together as a team in partnership with other organisations are already having such a positive impact in such a short space of time.’
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