A TEAM of Liverpool City Council social work staff who help keep families in crisis together have won a top industry award.
The Instant Response Team in the Family Support Service scooped the prestigious ‘Public Sector Children’s Team Award’ at the Children and Young People Now awards in London.
They respond to referrals where there is an imminent risk of family breakdown, often in extremely difficult and challenging circumstances, to ensure children and young people can safely remain at home with their families by providing timely, intensive, targeted support.
They saw off competition from councils in Cambridgeshire, Central Bedfordshire Council, Lancashire, Hammersmith and Fulham, Kensington and Chelsea and Westminster City to scoop the prize.
Councillor Barry Kushner, Cabinet member for children’s services, said: “Our social work staff are unsung heroes, who spend every working day helping keep vulnerable young people safe, often in very traumatic circumstances.
“I am so proud that the Instant Response Team’s diligence, passion and commitment to their work has been rightly recognised and rewarded in this way.
“This is a vindication of the investment we have made in our Early Help teams and the impact it has on children’s and families before they get into crisis.
“All the evidence shows that keeping families together and working proactively alongside mums, dads and carers to resolve their issues is far better in the longer term.
“The value of their work is truly immeasurable and we should all be grateful that we have among our workforce so many compassionate staff.”
Between April and September this year, a total of 97 children were referred to the team – of which 79 were able to stay with their families rather than being placed in foster or alternative care. A further three were eventually able to return home after support was provided.