Children and families in Dudley borough are set to benefit from a revised Early Help strategy that focuses on the health and wellbeing of children, young people and their families.
Last week, more than 160 partners who work with families in the borough came together at an event and pledged their support to the strategy, which places children and families at the centre.
The event, hosted by the Dudley Children and Young People Alliance and the Dudley Children Safeguarding Board, demonstrated how quality, early help delivered in a timely and co-ordinated way can support families and prevent them from going into crisis. It also set out clearer guidance that on the levels of need children may experience at various times.
Sue Butcher, chief officer and deputy director for children at Dudley Council, said:
This event highlighted how the council and our partners including health, the police, schools, probation and the voluntary sector have been working collaboratively to spot the signs that children and families may need help at an early stage.
Over the last two years, we have been building stronger connections with our communities, developing strong networks to support families in becoming more resilient. We want our family centres located in each of our five townships to be central to our overall aim.
Andy Gray, chair of the Dudley Children and Young People Alliance said:
It is fundamental that as a partnership we all share a collective narrative about what we can do together, why we are engaging in early help and knowing and understanding those levels of support that are part of our offer and commitment to our children, young people and families.
It is essential that all partners and the community know where families can get help and support to build emotional resilience so that they can bounce back from stresses without needing intervention from statutory services as a matter of course.
The event also looked at how agencies should better navigate to the right level of support for children and young people and highlighted the work of the children and young people’s safeguarding hub, which is made up of a number of agencies including social services and the police.
Liz Murphy, independent chair of Dudley Safeguarding Children Board said:
To support the Early Help Strategy, clearer guidance that sets out the levels of need children may experience has been produced by Dudley Safeguarding Board. This will enable those working with children, young people and families to identify their needs.
There is no doubting that early help is more effective in promoting the welfare of children than reacting later. It is fantastic to see so many partners and agencies attending today’s event and embracing their responsibilities to provide help and support to Dudley children, young people and their families.
Dudley’s early help strategy and more information is available on the Dudley Children’s Safeguarding website.