SWANSEA Council is investing record sums in keeping children and young people across the city and county safe.

There has been a 10 percent increase in funding for Child and Family Services over the last three years, and the council has also been successful in securing a significant increase in grants to boost its work in supporting children, young people and assisting vulnerable families.

The council is transforming the way it works to make the best use of its resources to work with children, young people, and families so they get the right support, at the right time, from the people best placed to support them.

Last year it received 8,407 enquires relating to children, young people, and their families.

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Lots of these were managed through the provision of information, advice and assistance which enabled families to find their own solutions to their difficulties and develop plans involving their natural support networks.

Social Workers worked with 2,263 children and their families with more complex cases while the new Early Help Hubs supported 2,216 children and their families.

The council’s Young People’s Service, Evolve, has seen a boost in the team’s numbers. They have met with 600 young people who were known to the service, and made contact with 7,318 other young people, ensuring they felt supported and safe in their communities.

One hundred and eighty-four children and young people were supported so they no longer required accommodation in local authority care and while 238 children were added to the Children Protection Register, 323 were safely removed thanks to the work of the service.

Cabinet Member for Children’s Services, Elliott King, said:

“Swansea Council continues to prioritise social services, along with education, as we invest in the children and young people of Swansea.

“This financial year the core budget for Child & Family Services is around £45m and Cabinet is looking to increase this further when the next budget is set shortly.

“On top of this, we have been successful in securing additional grants which this year will be around an additional £10m.

“All this money is invested directly into services that keep children safe and protected as well as supporting young families that need it.

“We have committed and dedicated professionals working across the service, and we are supporting them as they transform the way they work.

“Our new Early Help Hubs that bring staff from the council’s different children’s services together under one roof and host preventative activities to support their work such as parenting groups and young people’s support groups have been a great success.

“Our Young People’s service has worked throughout the pandemic, and they are reaching more and more young people both through our youth clubs and also by reaching out to young people in other places that they gather.

“Our social work teams, family support service, and our fostering teams have had some remarkable success in working with vulnerable young people and their families who need our help the most.”

By Gwynoro Jones

Former MP for Carmarthenshire, Gwynoro Jones joined the team covering politics in Wales. He has a wealth of experience in politics and has been a regular commentator on radio, TV and in newspapers in Wales. Email: gwynorojones@walesnewsonline.com

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