Shropshire Star

New family safeguarding model launches in Telford

A new safeguarding model which aims to help families stay together has been launched in Telford and Wrekin.

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Telford & Wrekin Council's headquarters

Families will be given help and support from different professionals working together as one team.

The new multi-agency teams are made up of children’s social workers, mental health workers, adult recovery workers and domestic abuse specialists.

It aims to enable parents to create sustained change for themselves and their children, with the aim to keep more children safely at home where possible.

Other authorities which have adopted the family safeguarding model have reduced the number of children requiring long-term care away from their families.

Following a successful bid, Telford & Wrekin Council is one of a number of local authorities to implement the model through the Department for Education’s Strengthening Families, Protecting Children programme.

Councillor Shirley Reynolds, Telford & Wrekin’s cabinet member for children, young people, education and lifelong learning, said: “As an ‘outstanding’ authority for children’s services, we are continuously looking at ways to further develop and strengthen our offer of support to children and families in our borough.

"The introduction of family safeguarding will do just that.

“By working with a wide range of local partners, we want to bring a positive impact to our community, positive outcomes for our families – especially to those who experienced domestic abuse, mental ill-health or substance abuse – so that they can stay together and children can remain safely at home.”

The new service focuses on parents’ mental health, substance misuse and domestic abuse through the creation of multi-disciplinary teams, investment in skills development to create change, improved information sharing and collaborative case recording in one place on a family record.

Parents and carers in crisis will be able to access support from one team and one point of contact as social workers work alongside partners including psychologists, mental health workers, domestic abuse and recovery practitioners.

Councillor Reynolds added: “The family safeguarding approach is based on a strong partnership foundation and this model will only strengthen this further, through a multi-disciplinary way of working with our colleagues in health services, justice system and many others."

Linda Massey, independent reviewing officer at Telford & Wrekin Council, added: “For me the family safeguarding model is a real uplift and way to move to a more positive relationship with our families and our local community.

"I look forward to implementing the changes and seeing the impact on the children and parents we work alongside.”

The model was initially designed by Hertfordshire County Council to tackle the challenges around children’s safeguarding.