28 May - Launch of Families Forward
A new pioneering service to help families facing the greatest challenges in Middlesbrough opens its doors today
A new pioneering service to help families facing the greatest challenges in Middlesbrough opens its doors today.
Families Forward is a new service to intensively help those families in the town with complex challenges involving drug and alcohol problems, domestic abuse and mental health issues.
Families Forward is based on the award-winning Families First service which for three years helped many Middlesbrough families affected by drug addictions.
Families First was awarded 'Drug Team of the Year' in 2008 by the Home Office for its "innovative and ground breaking work in helping children at risk due to the drugs misuse of the parents".
The new Families Forward team has a wider remit than Families First and new partner agencies are involved.
The team will target intervention and support to the whole family where the adult's problems are affecting the safety and wellbeing of children.
The Families Forward team includes drug and alcohol social workers, children's social workers, a probation officer, public health nurse, pre-birth social worker, family support workers and a part-time clinical psychologist.
Suzy Kitching MBE, Families Forward team manager, said: "Families Forward will build on the award-winning good practice of Families First, as well as independent research about what works with families in need.
"Our pioneering 'whole family' approach will address issues which are often inter-related and for many centre on issues of drug and alcohol problems, domestic abuse and mental health.
"We aim to work with around 50 families in the coming year. I'm sure that the expertise and dedication we have in this fabulous team will help turn many lives around for the better."
Neil Pocklington, Deputy Director, Safeguarding & Specialist Services for Middlesbrough Council, said: "The launch of the new Families Forward team is a real achievement and the consequence of many agencies working together successfully in Middlesbrough.
"Families First quite rightly received national plaudits for the incredible work it carried out.
"Now Families Forward will build on that success and play a hugely important role in the town in the years to come."