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25 January 2019, 08:45 | Updated: 25 January 2019, 08:46
A new service offering therapy to families in need is to be launched by Norfolk County Council today.
The project is one of the first of its kind in the country and will help more children to live safely at home with their families.
Known as Stronger Families, it will support about 400 children aged eight to 15.
Cllr Stuart Dark, Chairman of the Children’s Services Committee at Norfolk County Council, said “We know that children do better when they can live safely at home with their families, and this is one of several ways we are working to help families to be resilient and stay together.
“By providing therapy directly to families, the project can help to heal and build relationships that give children a much brighter future. We want to help families as early as possible, developing their strengths and giving them the support that they need to prevent problems from escalating.”
Family Psychology Mutual will provide the service and will use what is known as Functional Family Therapy Child Welfare (“FFT-CW”), a type of therapy that has had success in the USA, Australia, Singapore and Canada. Stronger Families will work within families’ homes, providing therapy to the whole family. It aims to repair relationships, help families to communicate better and help parents to better support and influence their children.
It is one element of the council’s wider transformation of Children’s Services, which is focused on building strengths in families and getting support to children and families early – ensuring better outcomes for children and mitigating the council’s budget pressures.
By safely reducing the numbers of children coming into care, the programme could save the council about £7m over five years.