New scheme aims to cut the risk of family breakdown
A NEW team to stop families falling apart has been set up in Swansea.
The Placement Support Team (PST) will work alongside existing services and offer emergency short-term crisis intervention to help children remain with their family or foster family.
The team of experienced project workers will be able to go out to families and take immediate action to try to stabilise the situation and keep the family unit together.
A short-term plan tailored to their specific needs will aim to increase the chances of the children being able to remain at home.
If further support is needed, the team will work with other groups and organisations to provide this.
The team will also provide intensive support to rehabilitate children and young people from Swansea’s children’s homes and out-of-county placements to help them grow up within a family in Swansea.
The scheme has been made possible through the redistribution of resources following the closure of Swansea’s Ty Gwaun and Ty Cwm children’s homes and will benefit from the expertise of some of the staff who worked there.
Senior placement support worker Hasna Monaf, who worked at Ty Gwaun and Ty Cwm for 14 years, said: “This is something that staff have wanted to see developed for some time.
“There is tremendous potential for keeping families together, which in most cases is the best option for the child.
“It gives us the chance to work with children and their families before and during crisis and avoid family breakdown and all the emotional upheaval that goes with that.
“By being able to give the support we are trained for to children within their own homes or in foster placements, they can maintain their education, keep their friends, and continue to be part of the community which is a part of their identity.”
Swansea Council cabinet member for social services, Councillor Nick Tregoning, said: “This development is great news.
“Ty Gwaun and Ty Cwm were underused and not fit for purpose. We are now unlocking the potential of the dedicated and experienced staff from those units and better using the resource to make a real difference to children and their families.
“The number of looked after children in Swansea is rising — it is currently 584.
“This has an impact on young people, families and funding which could be put to more effective use.
“Through innovative schemes such as the PST we can put our resources to work to achieve a better outcome for our young people.”