Troubled kids to be got out of bed and walked to school
Social workers will be visiting homes to get children out of bed and then walking them to school as part of a new drive to deal with troubled families.
Bath and North East Somerset Council is launching its Connecting Families initiative this week, with a new, targeted approach to provide long-term support and get real results when dealing with households which need intensive help from different agencies.
The idea is for the local authority to work closely with schools, police, probation workers and a number of other organisations and get to the root cause of generations of problems in families.
B&NES has already identified 117 families it wants to take part in the programme and believes this will rise to 200 over the coming months.
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Some of the issues they will be working on include long-term unemployment, anti-social behaviour, truancy, domestic violence and children who are in danger of being taken into care.
Tony Parker, the council’s divisional director for learning and inclusion, gave a presentation on the scheme at the early years, children and youth policy development and scrutiny panel.
He said it would be run by a relatively small, inexpensive team, which would, hopefully, give it more longevity, and that the focus would be on providing hands-on support for those with the greatest need.
“This is about the work we do as a care team,” he said. “We want it to be sustainable, so this is going to be relatively small, just a dozen or so people. They will be working across all parts of the council and with our partners.”
The level of involvement with families will work on a sliding scale, with those with the least problems receiving the least intensive support.
However, on the other end of the spectrum, those who need the most work will be assigned staff who are only working with around five families at a time, meaning they can receive visits almost every day.
The council estimates that around 30 to 35 families will need the most intensive support. Mr Parker said the support would include hands-on care, with social workers visiting homes to get children out of bed and taking them to school.
It will also include as well as supervising adults to ensure they attend parenting classes.
Connecting Families is receiving funding from the Government as part of David Cameron’s £448 million drive to deal with the families which cost the taxpayer an estimated £9 billion a year.
It can also recommend people to take part in separately funded projects to help get them into employment.
This includes support for teenagers who have no GCSEs at grade C or above, which the council predicts will involve around 30 to 50 youngsters in B&NES.