It might seem odd that on a website dedicated to social work, we talk about our vision being to keep children out of the social care system, but it’s true.
Most children and families would rather not have the involvement of statutory services. They want to be supported by their families to solve the day-to-day challenges they face.
As long as they are safe, we want this too.
Making lives better
Building family and community resilience and reducing the number of children who become Children in Need or subject to a Child Protection Plan is the right thing to do because evidence suggests that outcomes for those children who need statutory intervention are poor compared to their peers.
Their lives will be better if they are part of strong, resilient families and communities.
What’s more, by meeting the needs of families at the earliest possible point, we can afford to support others in the future.
Network of support
In Staffordshire, a key priority in our Strategic Plan is therefore to ensure “children and families have a network of support to help manage their own problems and stay safe and well.”
In practice, this translates to a community-based approach to early and earliest help, underpinned by a safety net of professional social work practitioners whose expertise is reserved for those families who need it.
The reality is, there will always be a small number of families who need intensive, professional support and our priority is to keep children safe. But our social work ethos is about supporting independence and resilience, not creating dependence.
Together with our partners in Staffordshire’s Family Strategic Partnership, we’re busy building this new relationship between families living in Staffordshire and the organisations who support them.