Swindon Borough Council’s Family LIFE programme has been given a national award for its work with families in chronic crisis.
Family LIFE (building new Lives for Individuals and Families to Enjoy) won the Children & Young People Now Integrated Working Award as the outstanding multi-agency project or team that has made the most demonstrable improvement to people’s lives.
The Children & Young People Now Awards, which are in their sixth year, recognise the “unsung heroes” who work tirelessly to transform the lives of children, young people and families across the country through their hard work, commitment and innovation.Children & Young People Now is a dedicated magazine for professionals working with children, young people and families.
The awards also provide the sector with a body of good practice from which to refer and learn. CYP Now received 420 entries and the 21 award winners were all able to show evidence of the positive outcomes their work achieves.
The Family LIFE programme is aimed at families in chronic crisis who need multiple interventions from a number of agencies. But, under the programme, families hand-pick their own multi-agency team who they then develop a relationship with.
As a result of the new way of working, families receive the services they need which make a real difference to their lives rather than a number of services they do not need.
Last year the programme, which has so far been working with55 family members, saw a 80-90% reduction in police call outs, seven eviction orders prevented, four children who no longer required child protection plans, a reduction in domestic violence and an estimated notional cost avoided to public services of £720,000.
Cllr David Renard, Swindon Borough Council’s Cabinet Member for Children’s Services, who accepted the CYP Now award at a ceremony in London on Thursday, said: “I am absolutely delighted the Family LIFE programme has won this award as it has transformed the lives of a number of families who have benefitted from this innovative new way of working.
“We are managing to link a number of existing excellent working practices with LIFE, in order to support some of our families and neighbourhoods across Swindon.“Thisaward is therefore recognition of all the hard work by the Family LIFE team and we look forward to rolling the project out to help even more families in chronic crisis in Swindon.”
Ravi Chandiramani, editor of Children & Young People Now, said: “We know that times are tough, with many projects and services affected by ongoing public spending cuts. Nevertheless, the army of people that make up the children and young people’s workforce at all levels continue to be a credit to our nation."
Pictured: (left to right) Joshua Snape (trustee of British Youth Council), Ceri Wilmott, Cllr David Renard, Joy Kennard.
Photo by Julian Dodd.