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Family Valued partnership for Sefton Council’s Children’s Social Care team launched

Sefton staff at the launch of the Family Valued partnershipSefton Council’s Children’s Services have welcomed colleagues from Leeds City Council to launch the two-year, Family Valued partnership.

Secured through a successful, £3 million Council bid to the Department for Education, the partnership will see the two authorities working together to improve outcomes for local children and families.

Importance of family

Family Valued is an approach that focuses on the strengths and importance of family and is centred on productive working relationships between practitioners and families. Its impact in Leeds has included a reduction in the rate and number of cared for children, as well as fewer child protection plans. As a result of children spending less time ‘in the social work system,’ it has also meant a saving of £755 per family compared to ‘business as usual’ social work.

Almost 200 of Sefton Children’s Social Care team were able to attend the recent two-day, introductory sessions, which included an introduction from Sefton’s new Director of Education and Children’s Services, Martin Birch.

Conditions for success

Sefton st5aff at one of the Family Valued launch events

In a presentation, Steve Walker, Leeds City Council’s Director of Strengthening Families, Protecting Children said that the Family Valued approach is not “rocket science”. He said it is about getting the basics right and “creating the conditions for success” which means the right culture and ethos, leadership and partnership and workforce and practice.

Each of the sessions included group and the opportunity to put forward ideas for a name for Sefton’s own version of Leeds Family Valued. The suggestion will be shared with Sefton’s Making a Difference group, a group of care experienced young people, and Sefton’s Young Ambassadors group.

The next step will be for Children’s Services teams to take part in restorative practice training sessions that focus on strengthening relationships between people and the social connections with members of the local community.

Positive feedback

After the launch events, Martin Birch said: “I am delighted we have got this new Family Valued partnership with Leeds underway as it will build upon the improvement work already started as we respond to the recent Ofsted recommendations by learning and delivering better results for children, young people and their families in Sefton.

“Feedback to the introductory sessions was very positive and included comments such as ‘it was just what we needed to focus and motivate us all on our way up’ and ‘I came out excited for the months/years ahead,’.

“Our staff are ready to take on the challenges we face and determined to achieve success for all of our children, young people and families.”

Impressed

Steve Walker, Leeds City Council’s Director of Strengthening Families, Protecting Children said: “We are delighted to be working with colleagues in Sefton to implement Family Valued.

“I have been impressed by the commitment that I have seen from elected members, partners and staff across Children’s Services to work together relationally to ensure that children and young people in Sefton have the opportunities they need and deserve to reach their potential.”

Unprecedented

Cllr Mhairi Doyle MBE, Cabinet Member for Children’s Social Care, said: “Adopting the Family Valued approach, combined with the significant extra resources we have allocated to Children’s Services in Sefton, will play a significant role in helping us to deal with the unprecedented demand we have seen since the pandemic.

“While we do, of course acknowledge our Ofsted rating and the need to improve it, our focus must be on ensuring Sefton’s children and young people benefit from the best services possible.

“We are committed to making sure they are safe, protected and inspired to reach their full potential and this week’s events are an important step on that path.”

Anyone interested in joining Sefton’s Children’s Social Care services can find the latest vacancies here along with details of our ‘Golden Hello’ payments and additional financial rewards.

 

Local Ukraine charities receive Crosby Lions backing

Two Sefton charities, who provide support for Ukrainian families arriving in the area, have been boostedInternational Ukraine Flag https://www.maxpixel.net/International-Ukraine-Flag-2684771 by generous donations from the Crosby and District Lions. Sefton 4 Good’s Sefton Ukraine Welcome Appeal and Crosby Methodist Circuit’s Ukraine Welcome Centre have both received £245 from the club.

Vital support

Earlier this year, Sefton 4 Good, in partnership with Sefton Council and local VCF sector organisations set up their Ukraine appeal.

Their fundraising efforts have helped to support families from Ukraine with clothing, equipment, travel cards and other needs. They provide support within the community by creating social and cultural networks for those moving to the borough.

Angela White OBE, Chief Executive of Sefton CVS, said: “We’re extremely grateful to Crosby & District Lions for this donation to our appeal which supports Ukrainian guests settling in Sefton.

“This fund is enabling us to supply them with items including SIM cards, digital equipment, books, new clothing and toys, taking into account their individual needs as they arrive.”

Community assistance

Meanwhile, the Blundellsands-based Ukraine Welcome Centre provides practical support to families moving from Ukraine.

The centre, based in the Methodist Church, provides a communal kitchen, leisure areas and IT access for families. They also take donations of clothing, household goods and toiletries to support those affected by the war.

Generosity

Ukraine Welcome Centre Co-ordinator, Alan Lewis, said: “Members of the Lions have visited the centre on several occasions and have been really supportive. This donation will assist greatly in improving our children’s facilities. Thank you so much Lions for your generosity.”

Commenting on the donations Sue Tyson, President of Crosby & District Lions, said: “We are so pleased to be able to help these local groups in their important work.

“Lions Clubs International has already donated funding of over £100,000 to Lions serving in Poland, Hungary, Romania, Austria and the Slovak Republic to help support Ukrainian refugees who have crossed their borders, as well as those people within the Ukraine.”

Other donations to the two appeals are always welcome. You can donate to the Sefton Ukraine Welcome Appeal by visiting sefton4good.org.uk and the Ukraine Welcome Centre by contacting crosbyuacentre@gmail.com.

To find out more about Sefton Council’s Homes for Ukraine scheme, which helps to provide support for those in the borough offering housing to people fleeing Ukraine, visit Homes for Ukraine.

RNLI launch water safety campaign and QR codes at Crosby beach

The RNLI and Her Majesty’s HM Coastguard have launched a water safety campaign, urging everyone to remember that if you get into trouble in the water, Float to Live.

To do this: lean back, using your arms and legs to stay afloat. Control your breathing, then call for help or swim to safety. In a coastal emergency, call 999 or 112 for the Coastguard.

Lifeguards in the North West dealt with 1,550 incidents last summer. With this summer expected to be just as busy, the RNLI is piloting a new QR code initiative to ensure beach visitors stay safe.

Three lifeguard units across the North West – Crosby, New Brighton and West Kirby will be kitted out with new QR codes, which visitors can scan with their mobile phones for the latest safety advice. The code will lead the user to specific advice for that particular beach and a film with a guide to any specific risks at that location.

The videos will contain a message from the lifeguard who patrols the beach being visited.

RNLI lifeguards have now returned to their posts on a daily basis in Sefton, at Formby, Ainsdale and Southport beaches. The RNLI already provides 365 days a year service at Crosby Coastal Park.

Chris Cousens, RNLI Water Safety Lead for the North West says: “It is important that anyone visiting the coast understands the risks of the environment. It can be very unpredictable, particularly during early summer when the risk of cold water shock significantly increases, as air temperatures warm but water temperatures remain dangerously cold.

“If you get into trouble in the water, Float to Live: lean back, using your arms and legs to stay afloat. Control your breathing, then call for help or swim to safety. In a coastal emergency, call 999 or 112 for the Coastguard”

The RNLI is also reminding people to visit a lifeguarded beach and swim between the red and yellow flags this summer.

A full list of RNLI lifeguarded beaches can be found here: rnli.org/find-my-nearest/lifeguarded-beaches

For further information on the water safety campaign visit: RNLI.org/FloatWales2022

Sefton Council helping local families tackle cost-of-living crisis with £15 per week half-term meal vouchers

Once again, Sefton Council will be supporting local families over the forthcoming half-term holiday by providing meal vouchers.

Eligible Sefton families can use the vouchers, worth £15 per child per week, to buy food in-store and online at local supermarkets.

Cllr Trish Hardy, Sefton Council’s Cabinet Member for Communities and Housing said:

“With local families struggling to cope with the spiralling cost-of-living, I am pleased that Sefton Council has again been able to act decisively by stepping in to provide them with direct help through these holiday vouchers.

“This additional £15 per week for each eligible child will help families manage over this difficult period but if people are experiencing severe hardship, a disaster or emergency, details of our Emergency Limited Assistance Scheme can be found at www.sefton.gov.uk/elas.”

Basket of groceries to symbolise online shopping slots during the pandemic

Sefton Families that don’t receive free school meals at the moment but think they might qualify should visit www.sefton.gov.uk/freeschoolmeals.

The half-term vouchers, which the Council is providing through its Household Support Grant funding allocation from the Department of Work and Pensions, are for buying food and essentials only. They cannot be used to purchase alcohol, tobacco, lottery tickets, phone top-ups or stamps.

Cllr Hardy added:

“In addition to the school meals vouchers, we have now paid out over £9.8 million of the one-off, £150 Council Tax Energy rebate payments to the almost 67,000 eligible Council Tax Band A to D households, which will also provide them with some help.

“And, over 20,600 households have responded to the letter we sent them by using the secure code to provide their details and register to receive the payment.

“I would urge anyone who has received the letter to register today, and if they have any concerns about the process to visit www.sefton.gov.uk/energyrebate where they can find out more.”

Sefton Council launches Orrell Mount Masterplan consultation

A consultation seeking views on a huge community-inspired masterplan to transform Orrell Mount Park in Bootle, is now underway.

Run by independent firm, FMG Consulting on behalf of Sefton Council, the consultation is an opportunity for people to ask questions and share feedback on the proposals. It’s also a chance to gain a better understanding of the design, timescales, and the range of benefits to the local community that the development could provide.

Proposals include a brand-new space for dog walking, improved children’s play area facilities and a refurbishment of the park’s iconic Pavilion, to complement a proposed full sized, 3G football pitch at the site.

Should the 3G pitch go ahead, it would be managed by Bootle’s very own Jamie Carragher as part of the JC23 Foundation. JC23 is a not-for-profit social enterprise which aims to provide a safe place for young and disadvantaged people and other members of the community to play and learn.

Cllr Ian Maher, Leader of Sefton Council, said: “We are delighted to be able to have a platform that allows us seek the views of our passionate communities, local clubs, park users and residents across South Sefton and work together to make the most of this wonderful space for everyone.

“Our teams have worked hard over recent months to develop this masterplan, which includes key requests such as more dog walking space and additional play facilities for children.

“That’s why it is important that people who live near and visit the area have their say and give their feedback to the consultation.”

Jamie Carragher added: “Sefton Council wants to hear your views on the proposed masterplan for Orrell Mount Park.

“Should the site go ahead there’ll be no profit gained by anybody. A number of holiday programmes would take place including holiday camps for local schoolchildren, walking football for older people and veterans, as well as sessions for local schools and junior teams.

“People are being encouraged to complete the survey online but paper copies are also available.

“Drop-in sessions are being held in a number of community venues throughout the consultation period. Anyone is welcome to come along to find out more about the proposed plans.”

The consultation runs from Monday 30th May to Friday 22nd July.

Drop-in sessions will be held on Thursday 9th June and Monday 11th July.

To find out more or to complete the survey, visit www.sefton.gov.uk/orrellmount

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