FAMILIES facing issues of domestic abuse, substance misuse and adult mental health in Warwickshire can find extra support to stay safe.
Warwickshire County Council’s new approach called Warwickshire Family Safeguarding is a partnership with drug and alcohol service Change Grow Live, adult mental health service NHS Coventry and Warwickshire, and the county council.
Specialist practitioners have been recruited in areas of domestic abuse, mental health and substance misuse to better support families by working with families to empower them to find their own, lasting, solutions.
Ultimately, the new approach aims to reduce the number of children currently in care.
The practitioners from the various disciplines will be helping parents and carers to identify the need to make changes, which can often be a stumbling point for families.
They will support families to achieve change, guiding them into services – such as drug and alcohol treatment or identifying their behaviour as domestically abusive – as well as working with the wider family.
This new way of working is inspired by Hertfordshire County Council’s method which takes a whole family view on child protection, providing help and support from different professionals working as one team. It will be rolled out initially in North Warwickshire with specialist practitioners embedded in frontline children and families teams for the first time in the county.
Existing and new practitioners in the pilot teams have also been given training to broaden their specialisms.
If Warwickshire Family Safeguarding proves successful in North Warwickshire, it will be made available countywide.
WCC families spokesman Jeff Morgan said: “Having a children and families service that has experts in a broad range of family issues, means that we can better support families in Warwickshire. The approach is all about providing the right support, early on and at the right time to prevent issues from escalating.
“By giving families the right support, we can work with them to build relationships and help them to identify their strengths as a family. Ultimately, we want Warwickshire Family Safeguarding to reduce the number of children in care and we are optimistic that we will be able to achieve this.
“By taking this whole family approach and providing the right support, we hope that families will feel willing to engage and feel open to explore opportunities for change.”
Visit www.warwickshire.gov.uk/childrenandfamilies.family for information on WCC’s family service.