A £4.86million government grant will lead to ‘groundbreaking’ change in the way child protection is dealt with in Hertfordshire.
The cashpot is the highest of any grant awarded to local authorities in the UK from the national Children’s Social Care Innovation Programme, and will help revolutionise children’s social care in the county.
The new programme will focus on Herts’ highest-risk children and families, with the aim of keeping more of those families together safely, improving thos children’s health and educational outcomes and reducing physical and emotional harm.
County cabinet member for chidren’s services Richard Roberts, who also represents the Kings Langley ward, said: “We are planning a completely new way of working for social workers, which represents a great hope for the future.
“Our pioneering new approach will cut down on red tape and free up our social workers to spend more time with families. We will also be working closely with our partners to ensure vulnerable families get all the help they need, when they need it.
“This grant is the result of the hard work of staff and, crucially, our partners in health and the police, and reflects the government’s faith in our innovative plan to improve the health, education and wellbeing of more than 1,000 of our highest risk children and families.
“I am delighted that we have received this money to help us press ahead with our plans, which will give hundreds of children a better start in life. We hope it will become a model for other areas of the country to follow.”
The grant will allow the authority to extend the work of its safeguarding teams across the county, allowing them to work alongside schools, children’s centres, health visitors, police officers and the voluntary sector.
These teams will also be joined by community psychiatric nurses and domestic abuse specialists, who will all be trained in new ways of supporting families.
For more on children’s services in Herts go to www.hertsdirect.org/your-council/hcc/childserv/