Safe Families for Children is a charity working hand-in-hand with children’s services to link families in need with a network of local volunteers who can offer them support.
93,000 children are ‘looked after’ children in the UK (source: www.gov.uk)
32,810 children in England and Wales were taken into care in 2017 (source: www.gov.uk)
23% of the adult prison population has been in care and nearly 40% of prisoners under 21 were in care as children (source: thewhocarestrust.org.uk)
…is to improve the outcomes for children and families going through a crisis.
…is to reduce the number of children being ‘looked after’ by at least 10 per cent by recruiting, training and mobilising volunteers in communities across Great Britain.
Safe Families for Children recruits, trains and supports volunteers who get alongside a family to offer the support they need.
Support may include someone looking after a child aged 0-10, either for just a few days or up to a few weeks.
Moral support and/or practical help for parents and carers may be provided, either regarding their own issues or the challenges of parenting.
Grandparents, other family members or friends already caring for a child can also be in need of support. Safe Families provides opportunities for them to receive respite, resources and relationships within the network of volunteers in order to strengthen them as they provide a stable environment for a child.
When socially isolated parents or carers face issues such as mental or physical illness, addiction, financial difficulty, bereavement, relationship breakdown etc., the stress brought about by the crisis may easily lead to the neglect of children in the family, and even increase the likelihood of other forms of child abuse occurring.
While Safe Families volunteers step in to help, parents and carers maintain the primary care of their children. Our volunteers act as the equivalent of wider family or neighbours, providing support and encouragement.
Safe Families’ involvement is always with the agreement or request of the parent/carer and they have the option to end the involvement at any time.
Asking Safe Families for Children for help is seen positively as every parent or carer needs support or respite at some time or another. Safe Families offers those without support a healthy way to bring sustained stability to their family life.
Volunteers receive no reimbursement and are carefully recruited, including an Enhanced DBS (previously CRB) check, references, home interview, home safety check if applicable, and training.
The health, wellbeing and safety of children and families
The provision of compassion and hospitality
Community belonging and togetherness
The strength of partnerships
Equality and diversity in all its form
Equality and Diversity
Safe Families for Children is a charity with Christian values at its heart. It is committed to promoting fairness, equality and diversity in all its activities. This includes the recruitment, training and development of a diverse group of volunteers able to support a diverse range of families in crisis. Safe Families is a learning organisation which welcomes the opportunity to work with people from all kinds of social, economic and cultural backgrounds. We will never knowingly discriminate against any person on the grounds of age, gender, sexual orientation, race, ethnicity, nationality, disability, religion, belief system, marital status, pregnancy or maternity.
Safe Families actively seeks feedback from its volunteers, the agencies referring families for support, and the children and families themselves, in order to continually improve the quality of the support provided and to ensure that all families are able to receive the most appropriate help in the best way possible. All Safe Families policies and procedures are reviewed regularly.