The breakfast launch, held at the Town Hall in Weston-super-Mare, was attended by social workers, early help workers and family support workers who wanted to find out more about the new service.
Family Group Conferencing empowers families to access support from relatives and friends who together come up with a plan to help solve a problem they may be experiencing. The aim is to enable children and families to safely stay together with the guidance of a Family Group Conference co-ordinator (who is not a social worker).
Community Family Care won the three-year contract for North Somerset Council, worth £150,000 by competitive tender. It has recruited several family group conference workers to provide the service from Weston-Super-Mare for a minimum of 24 troubled families per year.
Project Lead is Amanda Culverhouse, supported by Sessional Co-ordinator Teresa James.
Chief Executive of Community Family Care Mark Kingston said: “We’re very pleased to have won the contract and look forward to working with North Somerset Council.
“We’ll be providing an essential service for families who have experienced a lot of grief and trauma. The aim is to support them so that they are able to reach their own solutions.”
Community Family Care is an independent, not-for-profit agency which provides bespoke support services for children and families, building on families’ strengths to help make positive change and bring about lasting outcomes.
North Somerset Council has provided Family Group Conferencing since 2003 with an in-house team. Councillors agreed to outsource the service to external providers in 2016.