'Believing in Families' is about building on a family's strengths and showing a constant commitment to their development. It's about making sure that families feel able to make changes when it's safe and okay for them to do so.
It's also about making sure that we (the council) do things and decide things in the most effective way, so we can get the best possible results for the families we work with.
To make this happen, we need to make big changes to the services we offer families, and also to how we work and how we think about things.
We'll do this in a number of ways. Everyone in Children's Services will work 'restoratively', which means working with families, rather than making decisions for them. We'll find out what the family wants and needs, and help them to learn the skills they need to make those things happen. This can help to stop the need for 'interventions' (where we or another agency have to get involved with the family).
Believing in families means:
- families that need help will get it sooner
- less families enter safeguarding services (where we get involved because we're worried about the children)
- our work with families builds on their strengths and encourages positive changes
- we manage risks with confidence
- we provide intensive support for families at the edge of care (where children are at risk of needing to be taken into our care, called becoming 'looked after')
- we provide intensive support for families to help children to return home (no longer be 'looked after'), if it's safe to do so