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Family Support Workers to be introduced

25 April 2017

Five new Family Support Workers (FSW) will be in place later this year to help Jersey’s vulnerable children and parents.

FSWs will work with families in their own homes to develop parenting skills alongside a range of life management skills, such as budgeting, time management, nutrition and cookery, attending medical and dental appointments and dealing with States departments.

They will be a key component of Jersey’s ‘Early Help Approach’, an initiative that will ensure staff from different departments and agencies work together to and provide co-ordinated services to families. The aim is to support parents and children before their needs become so great or problems so entrenched that statutory services such as social workers have to become involved.

As part of the Jersey Early Help team, the FSWs will work with health and early years professionals from other States departments and voluntary organisations such as the NSPCC and Brighter Futures. Together they build a team around the child and family to assess their situation and make sure they receive the help they need and at the earliest opportunity.

Education Minister Deputy Rod Bryans said “Supporting families is a key priority for the Education Department because we know that it’s hard for children to thrive at school if their family and home life are unsettled. By helping parents, sometimes with very basic support, we will be helping children directly and improving their life chances.

“The introduction of Family Support Workers will further strengthen multi-agency working and will fill a gap in the services we currently provide to the families and children who need extra help to thrive.”

Funding of £473,600 over the next three years will come from the £1.65 million per year that was allocated, in the Medium Term Financial Plan, to projects that support vulnerable children.

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