West Berkshire Council

Council receives £2.1m for new safeguarding scheme

West Berkshire Council has been awarded a £2.1million share of an £11.6 million grant from the government's Children's Social Care Innovation Programme.

STOCK IMAGE - Girl with arguing parents

West Berkshire Council has been awarded a £2.1million share of an £11.6 million grant from the government's Children's Social Care Innovation Programme.   

The grant funding will be managed by Hertfordshire County Council, and they will share it between West Berkshire Council, Luton Borough Council, Peterborough City Council and Bracknell Forest Council.  West Berkshire will be working in partnership with Bracknell Forest who have received £1.9 million.

It will be used to replicate the Hertfordshire Family Safeguarding model here in West Berkshire. This brings groups of professionals together under one roof to provide intensive support to parents whose problems with substance misuse, mental health and domestic abuse place children at risk of harm. 

The teams of skilled professionals will then work together with families and with the support of a clinical psychologist to tackle the root causes of these issues.

West Berkshire's Children and Family Service currently support 968 children in need and their families. The grant funding will mean that they are able to provide more targeted support.

​Lynne Doherty, West Berkshire's Executive Member for Children and Family Services at West Berkshire Council, said: "Throughout the Hertfordshire journey, West Berkshire has watched the developments with interest. Now at a crucial stage in our own improvement work, we are delighted that the DfE has chosen us to be a part of this important project to scale up the Hertfordshire model to four additional local authorities. This new model for child protection services accords well with West Berkshire's values and improved practice. We are pleased to be considered a credible partner for this expansion."   

The new teams will be based at the Council Offices in West Street House in Newbury and at Turnham's Green, Calcot. It is hoped that they will be in place by September.

For more information on the Family Safeguarding project or to seek further help and advice, please visit www.hertsfamilysafeguarding.co.uk