In the UK, the number of young people in care is large and growing, with more than 90 young people are taken in every day; there are currently over 1,190 looked-after children across Norfolk. These young people typically suffer significantly worse life outcomes than their peers in a range of areas, including education, health and employment. Keeping children in care is also expensive for local authorities (a single place can cost over £200k per year). As a result, there is a strong case for supporting young people on the edge of care to achieve more stability within their families.
We are supporting Stronger Families Norfolk, a project that supports vulnerable young people in Norfolk who are at risk of being taken into care, or are in care due to abuse or neglect. Stronger Families Norfolk provides them (and their family) with access to a proven therapeutic programme, designed to help families address behavioural and emotional issues in order to help them stay together wherever possible.
The project is a partnership between Norfolk County Council and Family Psychology Mutual, with project finance and project management support from Bridges.
The programme aims to work with approximately over a 4.5-year period. To date, 134 young people and families have already started on the programme, over 32,000 days in care have been averted, and 98% of families that have completed the intervention to date have stayed together.