An event held at Berryfields Family Centre in Aylesbury has marked the launch of the new Family Support Service for Buckinghamshire.
The new Family Support Service has been operating for four weeks and has replaced the previous network of children’s centres. The new service aims to move the focus of support towards ‘whole family’ solutions and is designed to have a broader area based and integrated support service.
There are now sixteen new Family Centres in Buckinghamshire which offer universal sessions for parents with young children but also cater for families with children of all ages from birth to 19 year of age or up to 25 for those who have children with Special Educational Needs or a disability.
The new Family Support Service now provides extra, direct support to vulnerable children, young people and their families with more complex needs but who don’t meet the threshold for social care intervention.
Skilled family workers will give hands on support to those families, aiming to help them to solve their problems before they get worse.
Where families need an extended period of support, Family Support Service staff can work with partners to develop a team around the family to support them and to develop an agreed plan to help them achieve their goals.
The new Family Support Service combines the support expertise of Buckinghamshire County Council, health practitioners and other experts.
Councillor Warren Whyte, Buckinghamshire County Council’s Cabinet Member for Children’s Services, attended the launch event held last week and spoke to families, he said: ‘Previously, we were running a large network of children’s centres, used by many families who didn’t need an extra layer of help. Through our new Family Centres we are still running the valued sessions for parents with babies and young children but we can also provide help for all the whole family, whatever age the children are.
Under our old way of working we were seeing a rise in children needing social care support, a rise in school exclusions, more families hitting crisis, so we needed to change how we do things.
Importantly, the new Family Support Service will give more help to those families in greatest need. We are up and running, it’s early days, but I’m confident we are on the right path and we look forward to working with local families to design bespoke programmes at all of our Family Centres, based on what local people need the most.‘
*Source of article : Press release from Buckinghamshire County Council.