Norfolk parents at the end of their tether to be offered extra help

James Joyce, chairman of the childrens services committee at Norfolk County Council. Picture: Denise

James Joyce, chairman of the childrens services committee at Norfolk County Council. Picture: Denise Bradley - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2012

Families in crisis are to be given extra help after the launch of a new service which aims to keep them together and stop children from being taken into care.

Norfolk County Council has launched a pilot out-of-hours and outreach service that gives parents advice and support around the clock.

The service, staffed by residential social workers, will mean staff can respond immediately to families in need, helping to reduce the need for emergency care placements.

Supporting largely families with children aged eight and above, it will help those parents who may be struggling to meet their needs, or whose children are showing challenging behaviour.

Sometimes in these situations parents ask for their children to be taken into care and the county council will work with them to try to help the young person to return home, with support.

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The new service means that staff can go directly to the family's home when the issue arises, talk to the them about their problems and come up with solutions in partnership, helping the family to stay together.

James Joyce, chairman of the children's services committee at Norfolk County Council, said: 'Parenting isn't a nine to five job and we need to have the services in place that recognise this and can give parents the support they need around the clock, so that they can meet their children's needs.

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'Looking after young people can be extremely challenging but we know that children do far better at home with their parents and we want to help families to stay together, wherever it is safe.

'This new service gives parents someone to go to when they are reaching the end of their tether. Sometimes, they just need someone to talk through the problem with and sometimes our staff will need to go out to the family home and work directly with them.

'This is initially a six-month pilot but we are hopeful it will be well received by families and improve the lives of Norfolk's children and young people.'

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