£15 million investment to help keep families safely together
Up to 40 new areas will benefit from £15 million to expand promising innovative approaches to keeping families safely together.
Children at risk of being taken into care are set to benefit from programmes that tackle the root cause of family problems, by strengthening the expert support available from social workers, addiction specialists and psychiatrists.
The new programme, Supporting Families; Investing in Practice, will help families work on issues together, including those impacted by domestic violence, substance misuse or addiction, in order to help create stability in the home for young people and prevent them being taken into care, where that is in their best interests. This is part of wider Government work to improve outcomes for children in need of support of a social worker, by creating home and school environments in which they can thrive.
Modelled on existing Family Drug and Alcohol Courts (FDACs) and a programme known as Family Group Conferencing, the innovative new projects will be rolled out in up to 40 new council areas. The Government has today announced up to £15 million over the next year, following the emerging success of these existing programmes.
Children and Families Minister Nadhim Zahawi said:
Every child, no matter what hand they have been dealt, deserves the opportunity to grow up in a stable, loving family so they can develop into confident adults equipped to take on life’s challenges successfully.
For too many children, this is not the reality, and we are seeing rising numbers of children going into care. Often, their parents are struggling with problems of their own and that has an impact on the whole family. Projects like these are making sure vulnerable families get the support they need from experts who can help them address their problems head on and stop them from spiralling out of control.
I want to see children to be able to stay with their family where it’s appropriate and safe for them to do that – that’s why I will continue to back innovative approaches with a track record of success in doing this, to give the most vulnerable children in our society the best chances in life.
The programme is in partnership with the What Works Centre, which will oversee the implementation of the programmes in local authorities. It will gather further evidence of their effectiveness in keeping children and parents together, with the aim of spreading best practice in the future.