INTERNATIONAL CHARITY FOUNDER VISITS WIRRAL
American child psychologist and social worker, Dr Dave Anderson, visited Merseyside over the weekend of the 17th and 18th October, to support the continued local success of Safe Families for Children – the charity he set up in the US to support struggling parents.
Dr Anderson was initially involved in prosecuting parents who neglected or abused their children. As time progressed he found himself looking more closely at why some parents were struggling so much and discovered that many didn’t have a functioning support system and often had no-one to turn to in times of crisis. This is when his work with Safe Families for Children began.
The charity was launched in Merseyside earlier this year and aims to support vulnerable parents, providing a short stay for their children with a trustworthy family if necessary. The charity is dependent on an army of volunteers working hand-in-hand with local churches and children’s services. Together they are already making a huge difference to some of the most vulnerable children in Merseyside.
At a series of events over the weekend, Dr Dave Anderson, heard from Safe Families for Children about the work being done in Merseyside to recruit volunteers. These are people who are able to support struggling families in a number of ways including donating items, becoming a family friend or coach, or by giving a child a home when they need one.
Safe Families founder, Dr Dave Anderson, says: ‘When I started Safe Families for Children in Chicago I had no idea that the charity would go on to change lives across the US, Canada, Haiti, Kenya and in the UK. It’s an absolute honour so see our work grow, to be in Merseyside to experience the work of Safe Families here, and to meet the incredible volunteers who are making such a difference to local children and their parents.’
Gary Wootten, Programme Director for Safe Families in the Mersey Region, says: “I couldn’t be more pleased to have Dave Anderson with us in Merseyside for the weekend. We want welcome him to this great part of the world, and to listen and learn the ways in which we can take Safe Families for Children from strength to strength in Merseyside.’
Pauline Rafferty, our first active volunteer, states:
‘It’s a real privilege to have hosted the first ever Safe Families child in the Mersey region. The experience of helping a family in crisis was special. It has impacted my own family in a positive way including my own children.’
• Safe Families for Children is a UK charity and is independent of Safe Families for Children USA
• To hear Dr Dave Anderson speak about his work: https://www.safefamiliesforchildren.com/dave-anderson-video/
• Photo from Celebration Evening (from left to right):
Sarah Broadbent, Senior Family Support Manager for Safe Families for Children
Dr Dave Anderson, Founder of Safe Families for Children
Pauline Rafferty, Safe Families Host Family Volunteer
Richard Wright, Safe Families Host Family Volunteer