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Safe space for vulnerable families

30 September 2021

New family rooms for vulnerable children and families are opening tomorrow in memory of a ‘passionate and driven’ family support worker who passed away this year.

Tracey Najib, who joined Children’s Social Care in March 2000 as a family support worker before moving to the Complex Needs team in 2012, lost her battle with cancer in May.

Natalie Spooner, the Head of Service for Safeguarding and Care, said: “Tracey worked directly with children to understand their wishes and feelings. She also worked with families, from giving parenting support to facilitating quality time for children in care to be with their birth families. Tracey was kind, compassionate, relational and committed to working with parents to support them to understand their children’s needs.

“Tracey was passionate and driven to improve the outcomes for children and their families.”

The new family rooms, where vulnerable children and their families can relax in a safe space, are being opened tomorrow [Friday 1 October] in Tracey’s memory. The rooms include a parenting suite with a play room and kitchen, where parents can be supported to cook nutritious meals for their children.

The rooms are part of the Family Intervention Service, providing intervention for children and families who have been referred to the service, and is run by family support workers.

Patroneller Ndhlalambi, the Service Development Manager, said: “The family support workers are trained and dedicated to supporting families to achieve positive and sustained change by working with the whole family. They provide children and families with swift access to the right help at the right time when they need it, 24/7. They deliver purposeful, evidence-based and outcome-focused support, and ensure the available family support resources are used efficiently and effectively.

“The family rooms will provide a safe, warm, family-friendly space for families we support so they can feel at ease while using the facility. The rooms are designed to enable children and their families to have the opportunity to play, and to engage with the resources available in the rooms.” 

Explaining why the rooms have been dedicated to her former colleague, Natalie added: “Tracey is missed not only by her colleagues but also by the children and families she has worked with over the years. She was one in a million.”

Mark Owers, the Director of Safeguarding and Care, said: “The new family rooms provide a safe, warm, family-friendly space for families we support. The rooms are designed to enable children and their families to have the opportunity to play together and for parents and carers to strengthen their family relationships.

“I am grateful to all the team who have worked so hard to develop the family rooms, and it is an honour to dedicate these rooms to Tracey, who holds a special place in all our hearts.”

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