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Stable homes built on love

We’ve changed the way we work with families 

We’ve changed the way we work with families. Family safeguarding is a new way of working with families, we seek to use language that is empathic, motivational and helps to build relationships, with a focus on helping children to remain safely at home with their families. 

We whole-heartedly believe that every family deserves help and support for their children. We work with the whole family to enable and support positive change, working with parents to build on strengths and identify positive changes.

We listen to parents to identify, support and meet the needs of both children and parents in order to make a difference to the child so that families can stay together safely.

We do this through:

Motivational interviewing – We use language that is inclusive, conveys empathy with a focus on highlighting the strengths within families. We know that it is only through active listening that we can hear families’ own motivation to change, so that we can work alongside them for real change to occur. Through strengths-based conversations, we provide encouragement and instil confidence so that families choose change for themselves and their children

Multi-disciplinary teams -  We know how important it is for us to be able to provide support to any member of the family who may need it. This is why we have created teams led by a social care manager with a mix of specialists to support families and parents with mental health needs, drug and alcohol use and domestic abuse. They are based together and share information to address needs quickly and avoid duplication.

Family Safeguarding Workbook – This new way of recording means that we can spend more time getting to know families and their needs and less time recording. Everyone in the team who work with the family are recording information on the same system, providing a single, integrated family assessment with the family safeguarding programme and allowing shared, multi-agency recording, analysis and decision making. 

Group supervision – Multi-professional group discussions take place monthly to review progress, understand what difference this is making to the daily lived experience of our children and families and agree next steps.

We want all children and young people to reach their potential, be happy, healthy and safe and therefore able to make the best use of their skills to lead independent and successful lives.

While this changes how we work with families who are open to Children’s Services, we should point out that multi-agency work outside of the teams will continue as usual.  We will still work with other agencies outside of family safeguarding and we still share our responsibilities to children and families in Bury. 

Our Family Safeguarding Team

The family safeguarding team are made up of a range of different professionals who are based in the same office. This new way of working means we can spend more time getting to know families to provide them with the help they need when they need it. This means that parental access to mental health and substance misuse support will be much more timely.

The team includes:

Team Manager

The Team Manager is responsible for the management of the Family Safeguarding team and holds overall decision making responsibility for the children and families they support. This includes the line management of Social Workers and responsibility for reflective supervision. The Team Manager leads and chairs Family Safeguarding supervision, incorporating the views of the multi-disciplinary team. They are responsible for case allocation, allocating work to adult workers, and oversight on a day-to-day basis of the adult workers within their teams.

Social worker 

The Social Worker co-ordinates the progression of a child’s plan. They complete the Family Programme and use Motivational Interviewing (MI) tools to create change for children. Working with their adult specialist colleagues, they also develop high quality plans to meet a family’s needs. The Social Worker works with children to enhance resilience and promote educational achievement, and visits them in line with child protection/child in need plans, liaising with relevant safeguarding partners. They are responsible for overseeing impact of support to change parent’s behaviours to meet the child’s needs and defining next steps.

Mental health practitioners – work with parents who are experiencing mental health difficulties

Mental Health Specialist Adult Workers provide timely mental health assessments and evidence based psychological interventions with parents/carers with mental health support needs. 

Recovery workers – work with those who have issues with drugs or alcohol and provide support to make lifestyle changes.

A Recovery Worker works with parents who are experiencing challenges with drugs and/or alcohol addiction. Adults are supported to make positive changes that enable them to improve the care of their children. They can undertake consultations, assessments, alcohol and drug testing, as well as use their motivational interviewing skills to support and motivate parents to change their behaviours. 

Domestic abuse officers

Domestic Abuse Officers undertake specialist assessments, including an analysis of the likelihood of harm that parents may pose to their families. They deliver the ‘Better Me, Better Us’ group programme for men and women who are or may be perpetrators of domestic abuse. The programme focuses on identifying abusive/controlling behaviours and helping to understand the impact of domestic abuse on children and partners and the harmfulness of certain behaviours. Via both individual case and group work men and women are supported with strategies to help them cope with stress, anger and controlling behaviour. They are encouraged to create a hopeful vision of how their lives could be better and to think about how they can make meaningful contributions to their child’s life.

Domestic abuse practitioners – work with those who have experienced or are experiencing domestic abuse to support them in understanding the impact on themselves and their children.

The Domestic Abuse Practitioner will support parents to break the cycle of abusive relationships. They complete direct work with victims of domestic abuse and deliver the ‘Safer Us/ Breaking the Cycle Programme’. Practitioners’ work involves developing self-esteem and devising realistic safety plans via individual case and group work. Where needed they provide support on a one to one basis, reflecting on healthy relationships and building an understanding of impacts on a child.

What families can expect

As a family you can expect:

  • Workers who see every family as deserving support.
  • That everything we do is done with you not to you.
  • Staff who focus on what you and your family can do and help you be your best.
  • A team of specialists who work together so you don’t have to repeat yourself.
  • Children’s voices will be heard; their lived experience will be clearly understood and will be central to influencing the support they need.