Safe Families for Children, a Christian charity working with churches and local authorities across England, has been shortlisted for four prestigious national awards for its work with vulnerable children and struggling families which prevents problems from escalating and children entering the care system.
The charity has been shortlisted for the Children and Young People Now Family Support Award, the 3rdSector Care Awards Community Engagement Award and Innovative Quality Outcomes Award, and the Centre for Social Justice Family Support Award.
With 90 children going into care every day across England and Wales, there are currently 72,670 ‘looked after’ children in England. Statistics show that outcomes for children who have been in the care system are often poor, with many experiencing homelessness or a prison sentence later in life.
Across England, local authorities measuring Safe Families impact found that the flow of children going into care reduced by between 7-14% with Safe Families support. Since it was founded in the UK in 2012, Safe Families endeavours to be a community-based solution to a community-based problem by using a simple model of people helping people. By helping one family at a time Safe Families has already supported over 1700 families and benefitted more than 4200 children using its network of around 3500 volunteers.
Keith Danby, Chief Executive of Safe Families for Children, said: “It’s an enormous honour to be shortlisted for these awards. It’s an indication of the work we at Safe Families are passionate about – creating better outcomes for children and families in crisis across England. We owe a huge debt of gratitude to the thousands of volunteers who have come forward and who provide so much hope and support to overwhelmed families.”
Mum of one, Marina, tragically lost her husband to leukaemia in 2014. Early in 2017 Marina was hit by more bad news when she herself was diagnosed with breast cancer.
With no family nearby to support Marina and her 9-year-old son, Ryan, they were referred to Safe Families for Children. Volunteers stepped forward to support Marina and Ryan through the surgery and 12-week recovery period when Marina was bed bound.
“I was a little bit worried because I hadn’t been in this situation before and trusting somebody else with your child as a mum is a difficult thing to do! But the volunteers were absolutely fantastic and they made Ryan feel so comfortable with them.”
“The hardest thing was family wise. Me and Ryan, we don’t have any support over here. It was really hard. I was missing my family terribly, not having anyone to talk to or anyone close by. So the volunteers kind of became part of my family. They used to come in and we’d have a cup of tea and chat about so many things.”
Media Contact: Lydia Dyer – 07387 109742
Safe Families for Children (Safe Families) is a Christian organisation working with churches and local authorities to offer early intervention support to vulnerable children and families with the aim of reducing the flow of children into the care system.
An international children’s charity with branches in the US, Canada and Kenya, Safe Families was brought to the UK in 2012 by philanthropist Sir Peter Vardy.
Operating in the North East, Midlands, Mersey, Greater Manchester, and South Coast, the charity accepts referrals from local authorities responding to difficult family situations.
The charity recruits three types of volunteer to help it deliver services: 1) Host Families look after a child for a couple of days to a couple of weeks, 2: Family Friends befriend and mentor parents through difficult times and 3) Resource Friends supply a wide range of goods and services the family needs.