Families Team, YMCA Norfolk
YMCA Norfolk Families Team provides specialist support to families at the request of Norfolk’s Children’s Services, working with families affected by domestic violence, poor mental health and special needs.
The team works with children at risk of entering the care system, classed as being on the ‘edge of care’, or those in the care system who would like to return home. The challenge has been to keep families together.
The team’s strength is its ability to adapt to changing circumstances, engaging effectively with each family. An example was supporting a pregnant mother whose children already had a Child Protection Plan for neglect. The team established a trusting relationship with the mother, helping her address her own anxieties. They shared parenting techniques so she could support her children and arranged emergency accommodation when the father posed a safeguarding risk. Following six months of intensive support, and the safe arrival of the baby, the family was signed off by Children’s Services.
The impact this work has had on individual families has been significant.
- 44 of 50 families (88%) remained together during the interventions
- Risk levels to children were reduced in 22 families (44%)
- Nine families (18%) were removed from statutory involvement, with four families changing from a Child Protection Plan to having no Children’s Services involvement.