Initiative To Keep Vulnerable Children Safe

A service to support vulnerable children and their families is being piloted in Southall. The Southall 0-19 SAFE (Supportive Action for Families in Ealing) will work with local schools, GPs, community groups and other agencies to identify children and young people in need.

The team of ten professionals from across the areas of social care, education, health and mental health will be primarily dedicated to supporting vulnerable children and young people aged from birth to 19 years and their families.

The team will also offer broader services to the Southall community, such as parenting classes, early years play and parent drop-ins. Families will also be invited to use the service’s information resources, pick up leaflets and find out about other local services, activities and community and faith facilities.

Councillor Ian Gibb, (Con, Cleveland), Ealing Council’s deputy leader and cabinet member for children’s services, said: “This new service is a model of effective partnership working to meet the needs of vulnerable children on every front.

“By working together and linking in with GPs, nurseries, schools and community groups, we can better identify vulnerable children and young people and quickly step in to help them and their families. This early intervention will help to reduce the likelihood of them needing to access additional services in the future.”

If the Southall service, based in Talbot Road, is successful Ealing Council has promised there will be more set up across the borough. Nick Bidmade, service manager, said: “The team is busy working with children and families already and they are also establishing effective relationships with schools, nurseries, health centres and with GPs in the area.

“These agencies see children and young people every day and are best placed to identify any problems that may be developing early and refer them to our team. The team is also making good links with other statutory services and particularly locally via the Southall Community Alliance and with representative groups from the community and voluntary sector.

“We want this to be a place where children, young people and families can come without referral for information and advice and to seek services directly.”

During the summer a number of family events will be staged to advertise the service.