Vulnerable families and children are to get extra help and support thanks to a new partnership between Nottingham City Council and Safe Families for Children.

Safe Families for Children provides support for families in crisis. Volunteers offer friendship and help for families in difficulty – and can even offer a place for children to stay while their parents are helped to tackle problems in their lives. The aim is to support more families in the city to stay together and reduce the number of children going into care.

The City Council has been proactive in bringing this approach to the city and the partnership with Safe Families for Children represents an innovative new way of working with vulnerable families in Nottingham. The city is the first local authority in the East Midlands to introduce the scheme following a successful pilot in the North East and is one of six local authorities which make up an East Midlands Hub of connected Safe Families for Children schemes. The partnership agreement with Nottingham City Council was signed on 21 July.

Safe Families for Children has a strong relationship with churches in local communities and finds most of its volunteers through these groups. So far over fifty people have been recruited in Nottingham which means that families who have been referred to the scheme will be able to access support almost immediately. It is anticipated that Safe Families for Children will initially support up to two referrals per month.

Councillor David Mellen, Portfolio Holder for Early Help and Early Intervention, said:
“Safe Families for Children is an important early intervention scheme which will provide help for families in desperate need, prevent child neglect and abuse and reduce the number of children entering the care system. I am delighted to announce the launch of this scheme in Nottingham.

“When faced with challenges and stress in our lives, many of us take for granted that our families or friends will rally round us to help but for many vulnerable families the support just isn’t there. A family crisis can happen at any time and the effects on the children of an isolated family can be devastating.

“Safe Families for Children can provide families in need with a support network made up of trained staff and volunteers, recruited from faith communities, who will use their life skills and experiences to provide resources, guide and assist them when they need help most.”

“Nottingham City Council is keen to work in partnership with a variety of organisations and communities to support families and young people in Nottingham. Safe Families for Children work with faith communities to recruit volunteers for this scheme, demonstrates the important contribution that these communities make to our city”

More information can be found at the Safe Families for Children website.