Lewisham chosen by Government to trial revamp of children’s social care

The Government has chosen Lewisham council to deliver the Families First for Children Pathfinder programme.

The scheme aims to improve services to help more children stay with their families in safe homes and protect vulnerable children from harm.

Action to protect children – when needed – will be carried out by social workers with significant expertise and experience working alongside other professionals in multi-agency teams, and the wider family will stay involved in decision-making.

Lewisham council’s successful bid comes just three months after its children’s services were rated as ‘Good’ by Ofsted for providing ‘high quality help and support’ to families.

Six other local authorities across the country have been selected to take part in the trial, backed by up to £19.5million.

Lewisham council has been awarded £3.3million to trial the reforms.

Other reforms being tested include support for family members like grandparents, aunts or uncles to help them step in to help children continue living with their parents. This may be with additional weekly costs, buying a new bed, or topping up lost wages.

Councillor Chris Barnham, Lewisham’s cabinet member for children and young people, said: “Few things we do are more important than helping families to stay together through challenging circumstances and giving them the best possible chance to thrive in the future. 

“Being selected as a pathfinder speaks volumes about the great strides our staff have made in providing consistent and high-quality support to children and families across the borough.”

(Picture: Pixabay)

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