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Publication date:- 2017-22-07

user-generated Headlines and reports on this page = 4 news items.    Page - 3.

Child burial and cremation charges scrapped in Liverpool

LIVERPOOL City Council is waiving charges for child burial and cremations. It follows a request from Love, Jasmine; 1 of the Council's corporate charities, which supports families following the death of a child. The City Council currently carries out around 100 cremations and 34 burials of children under the age of 16 each year. Previously it cost ₤66 for a cremation and ₤145 for a burial. Mayor of Liverpool Joe Anderson said:- "The loss of a child is a traumatic time for any parent and it is right and proper that we do all we can to support families at what is a very difficult moment. Having to find the money for a burial or cremation can add additional stress and a financial burden when their grief is still raw, and that is why we have agreed to this excellent suggestion from Love, Jasmine."

Love, Jasmine was set up by Kathy and Rob Lapsley from Anfield in memory of their daughter Jasmine, who passed away suddenly in 2014. The charity aims to support families who have suffered the loss of a child by providing dedicated support groups, complimentary therapies, advice and guidance. Rob Lapsley said:- "We'd like to thank Liverpool City Council for waiving burial and cremation costs for children. Nobody expects to have to plan their own child's funeral and many families often find themselves in financial difficulty after losing a child. The decision to waive burial and cremation costs will help ease that financial burden."

A child grave is already offered to families at no cost, although there will still be a charge for those wanting a full size family grave where other relatives can be buried. 

More information about the work of Love, Jasmine can be found online.

Early help scheme for families to continue

SCHOOLS are to help fund an early intervention programme for families in difficulty in Liverpool. The 'School Family Support Service' began work in 2014, and assists where there are issues affecting a child's wellbeing, educational attendance and attainment, but which are not serious enough to meet the threshold for social work intervention. The 22 strong team of support workers have provided support for 1,450 families to date, including:- improving parenting, helping strengthen family life and relieving pressures. Triggers for support include children with poor attendance or exclusions at school, or issues with adolescent behaviour and parenting.

The scheme has so far been funded entirely through the Liverpool Families Programme which is paid for by a Government grant. A move towards a more sustainable model where schools contribute by paying for services they receive has been planned since the outset. So far, 63 Schools have expressed an interest in paying for an initial 12 month period from September 2017, meaning they would contribute around half (₤360k) of the ₤773k cost of the service.

Councillor Barry Kushner, Cabinet member for Children's Services, said:- "The School Family Support Service is widely recognised as a real success story, helping build relationships between families, schools and social care and health services to tackle problems before they become crises. Our schools know their children and their families extremely well and teachers are best placed to spot when something is wrong at home and work with us to fix it, which brings benefits for everyone involved. The fact they are willing to help pay for it shows they value the work of the service. It is vital we make sure our children get the possible start in life, and it makes far more sense to support families in their hour of need, rather than letting issues grow or get out of control."

In 2014/15, a study of a sample of families demonstrated an increase in school attendance and improving behaviour. The report recommending the move to the so called 'traded service' will be considered by the Cabinet, on Friday, 21 July 2017.

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