‘Ground-breaking approach will change the lives of so many children’ says Herts County Council social care chief

PUBLISHED: 08:36 09 September 2015 | UPDATED: 08:36 09 September 2015

County Hall has been given a £4.86 million grant to transform the child protection system in Hertfordshire.

County Hall has been given a £4.86 million grant to transform the child protection system in Hertfordshire.

Archant

A ground-breaking change in approach to child protection offers great hope for future generations, according to County Hall’s social care chief.

County councillor Richard Roberts is the lead for children's services.County councillor Richard Roberts is the lead for children's services.

Herts County Council was awarded a £4.86 million government grant at the start of the year to overhaul the county’s child protection system by introducing safe-guarding teams.

The teams see mental health professionals, substance misuse specialists and domestic abuse experts work alongside social workers in a partnership involving police, health organisations and probation services.

Five of these teams have been in operation since April, with six starting in June and the remaining 11 due to begin at the end of the month – following a recruitment campaign that has seen 40 social workers and 17 other professionals start work so far.

In one case, the use of pioneering motivational techniques encouraged parents previously in denial to admit they had a drinking problem and accept help to address their issues.

Richard Roberts, the lead for children’s services at the county council, said: “This new way of working represents a great hope for the future, which is why the government placed its faith in us and why so many social workers are keen to work in Hertfordshire and be part of this exciting venture.

“No other local authority in the country is providing this level of extensive support to families in need, giving hundreds of children a better start in life. We hope it will become a model for other areas of the country to follow.”

There are still vacancies for mental health professionals including psychiatric nurses, junior psychologists, psychological social workers and psychological occupational therapists.

Call Stacey Brewer on 01992 556439 or email stacey.brewer@hertfordshire.gov.uk to apply.

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