£3.5M TO TRANSFORM SERVICES FOR VULNERABLE FAMILIES IN EALING

A new project which will create a one-stop support shop for troubled children and families in Ealing has secured government backing worth up to £3.5 million.

The programme – run by Ealing Council – will overhaul the way children’s services work together, creating more integrated teams of professionals with social workers working alongside family intervention teams, so families have a single point of contact no matter how many support services they are receiving.

Children will be involved in developing their own care plans, and choosing their lead worker based on who they trust or have the best relationship with. The money will also be used to help support young people in care placed away from their local area to move closer to home.

Children and Families Minister, Edward Timpson, said:

“Having grown up with around 80 foster children and worked as a family lawyer in the care system for over a decade, I know that there isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach to helping and supporting troubled families. Each family is unique and should be given the tailored support they need to thrive.

“This new project in Ealing will help achieve just that and I’m hugely excited to see what this venture achieves.”

The scheme is one of the latest projects that have successfully bid for money through the government’s Innovation Programme.

The Programme – backed by funding worth £100 million – aims to kick start the most promising proposals for new ways of working such as supporting young people leaving care and taking their first steps into adulthood or looking at new bespoke services such as FGM prevention.

Councillor Binda Rai, cabinet member for children and young people.

“I am proud of Ealing’s strong track record in promoting the best interests of  children and young people and this opportunity will help us to make a profound difference to young people in care, and those on the verge of being taken into care.

“We plan to fundamentally re-shape our service, providing more creative, tailored and intensive support to vulnerable local families and young people through smaller teams of social workers, ultimately reforming their experiences of the care system and their life chances.”

The government’s Innovation Programme will focus on two key target areas – fresh ways of working in children’s social work and better support for young people in or on the edge of care. Exciting proposals so far have included:

  • A group of councils who have designed their own new approach to social work practice, based around getting social workers back into intensive, in-depth work with families;

 

  • Expanding a project which helps women who have had successive children taken into care by interrupting repeat pregnancies and giving them a chance to turn their lives around.;

 

  • A council interested in developing a care pathway approach that provides a detailed assessment of young people’s needs within the first few weeks in care, and provides a consistent team of staff to work with that young person wherever they move through the care system.