Posted: Tue 12th Apr 2016

Funding Agreed For Pioneering Young People’s Project

This article is old - Published: Tuesday, Apr 12th, 2016

Funding for a pioneering project that could transform the futures of the children of young people leaving care has been given the green light. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

Swansea Council has accepted more than £105,000 of funding from the Welsh Government for an innovative project which is designed to support young people who have experienced the care system when they have children of their own. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

The scheme, which has a well evidenced therapeutic base, will help reduce the chances of history repeating itself with parents who were themselves once looked after having to see the same thing happen to their children. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

Julie Thomas, Head of Child and Family Services at Swansea Council, said: “Right across Britain there is a pattern of children who have experienced statutory social care losing their own children into the care system. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

“While in Swansea there is a strong focus on ensuring good outcomes for children who we look after, unfortunately due to early childhood trauma and disruption of care these young people do not always have positive parenting models, or experiences, to draw on to help them parent their own children. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

“Also, they do not always have the extended family support network to assist them in the challenges every parent experiences. The programme will support these young people to overcome their difficulties, and tackle their feelings about their past which could impact negatively on their capacity to parent. The project is all about making sure history does not repeat itself.” ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

She said: “With the right support over a period of two to three years these young people can learn to live, love and parent in a healthier way than they experienced in their own childhoods.” ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

The grant funding of more than £105,000 to support the service was offered by the Welsh Government and will be spent over the next three years to 2019. If successful the model will be shared with other local authorities across Wales and the UK as an example of good practice within the field of social care. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

According to a report across the UK, looked after children are also much more likely than children in the general population to have mental health problems, emotional disorders or end up in prison. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

Dave Howes, Chief Social Services Officer, said: “Swansea Council has already attracted international attention and praise for its ‘Signs of Safety’ approach to safeguarding children and their families. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

“The ‘Signs of Safety’ project is all about safely preventing the need for children having to become looked after by statutory organisations like the council. It’s yielding results in Swansea because the number of children being looked after by the council is reducing and they are being safely supported to live with their families or other carers. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

“This new initiative will help build on that success by working with those young people who have come out of the care system and are now facing parenthood themselves. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

“Supporting them as they face the challenges of adulthood such as getting a job, providing a stable home and bringing up children will help to break a cycle which sees too many young children following their parents into the care system.” ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​



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