Walsall Council, in conjunction with partner agencies, launched its Family Safeguarding model in September this year and recently followed it up with a more formal online celebration and launch event.
Since being adopted, this innovative child protection model has produced similar levels of success to where it was initially launched in Hertfordshire as shown on a Department for Education (DfE) evaluation published this November.
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.
By having parental mental health, substance misuse and domestic abuse specialists working together with children’s social workers within one team, support can be provided in a more seamless way with noticeable positive outcomes for families. Around 35 vulnerable children in 20 families across Walsall are already being supported using this new model.
Councillor Tim Wilson, Portfolio Holder for Children’s Services said:
“I’m proud to lead such a great team. This approach makes a real difference to families in the borough and fully supports the Walsall Right for Children transformation programme.”
Also present at the launch event was Isabel Trowler, the Lead Social Worker for England. Isabel said, “This is just fantastic news and a really important programme for the Government, which has invested heavily in it.”
Liz Murphy, Independent Chair of the Walsall Safeguarding Partnership said, “The Family Safeguarding Model supports strong partnership working. It means that agencies can be more joined up in how they support children and families and therefore have a bigger impact. Our shared ambition to keep children with their families is therefore much improved.”
The launch event featured practitioners sharing their experiences of this new way of working and the feedback from the families they’re working closely with and included examples of how children felt about services in Walsall.
Parents have commented:
“Not afraid to approach the council with problems – changed my view of social services.”
“Being able to say things without being judged.”
Notes to editors: