Posted: Friday 7th July 2017
An evaluation report by University of Bedfordshire researchers published today revealed that an innovative way of working developed in Hertfordshire has transformed the lives of the county’s most vulnerable children and families.
A radical overhaul of Hertfordshire’s child protection service has resulted in more families staying together and significant savings for the county council. The ground-breaking Hertfordshire Family Safeguarding Service set up with funding and support from the government’s Children’s Social Care Innovation Programme, has also reduced police domestic abuse call outs by 66%, A&E visits by 53% and reduced the number of children on child protection plans by 50%. The total number of care cases in court has also reduced by 37%.The University researchers estimate that reduction in expenditure to Hertfordshire’s Children’s Services in the first 12 months alone was £2.6 million.
Mum of two, Angelina, who came to the Family Safeguarding team in September 2016 said: “When I came into contact with the Family Safeguarding team, I was scared they would take my children away. But instead, they listened to me and got other experts involved, a domestic abuse worker and mental health worker and together, they helped me a lot. They gave me the opportunity to turn my life around. I didn’t think there was light at the end of the tunnel, but with their support, I was able to transform my life and I saw my children improve as a result. We are happy now and I am a thousand times different to the person I was before social services intervened.”
Hertfordshire County Council is now working with four other local authorities; Luton Borough Council, Peterborough City Council, Bracknell Forest Council and West Berkshire Council and their local partnerships, to implement the Hertfordshire Family Safeguarding model and to test whether Hertfordshire’s improved outcomes for children, families and social workers can be replicated in their areas.
For more information on the Family Safeguarding project or to seek further help and advice, please visit: https://www.hertfordshire.gov.uk/about-the-council/jobs/working-in-care/work-with-children-and-families/safeguarding-in-hertfordshire.aspx