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
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'
considered by the Cabinet, on Friday, 21 July 2017.