Many families we support are already known to Social Services who may have concerns about the welfare of the children…
In the more serious cases we deal with the family will be described by social workers as ‘on a plan’ – shorthand for Child Protection Plan – which is the new lingo for what was not-too-long-ago called the ‘at-risk register’.
Back in November a married couple who are volunteering for Safe Families as Family Friends began to support a single mum with two kids, both ‘on a plan’. There was the very real threat that if mum couldn’t get on top of her (many) problems then the kids would be taken into care.
Our volunteers began to see mum regularly, visiting the home and offering support and advice. They struck up a good relationship and mum began to see the need to start making changes in her life, for the good of the children.
We heard some great feedback from the volunteers last week that went a bit like this, ‘Mum met with her social worker to talk about an important review of the family situation that was due to take place in April. The social worker told her that the change in the family was really obvious to everyone, the April review had been cancelled and the kids would now be taken ‘off plan’.
Mum’s sense of both achievement and relief was palpable as she realised that her children were no longer considered to be at risk, and that the threat of them being taken away from her was lifting.