In good hands - national award for supporting families

A charity funded by the City of Edinburgh Council has won a national award for supporting families in Edinburgh.

National charity Safe Families for Children, which has helped over 7,000 children since 2013, has won a Centre for Social Justice (CSJ) Award for its work connecting isolated families with volunteers in their community.

Safe Families for Children started working in Edinburgh in October 2014 and believes every child needs to be loved and secure so that they can thrive. It works hand-in-hand with social work, linking isolated families with a network of local volunteers who can offer support and connect them into their community. Ultimately they aim to reduce the burden on children’s services with more families receiving support from within the community.

According to the Government, 4,186 children in Scotland became looked after in 2016/17. Overall there were 14,897 looked after children in Scotland (July 2017 figures) with 11,131 looked after away from home.

Statistics also show that 23 per cent of the adult prison population has been in care, and nearly 40 per cent of prisoners under the age of twenty-one were in care as children.

To address these problems, Safe Families for Children partners with City of Edinburgh Council, matching isolated families with local volunteers who can provide tailored help and ‘wraparound’ care. Involvement with Safe Families makes a crucial difference for families in preventing the need for children to go into care.

Councillor Ian Perry, Education, Children and Families Convener for the City of Edinburgh Council, said: “I’m delighted they have won this national award for their dedicated work connecting isolated families with local volunteers.

“They’ve made a real difference since they started working with us last year and have a strong record of improving outcomes for children and their families. The service is highly effective and their success in helping many children live safely with their own families who might be at risk of being accommodated cannot be underestimated.”

Kat Osborn, Chief Executive Officer of Safe Families, said: “Safe Families are honoured to have been nominated to win this award alongside such inspirational charities. At Safe Families we believe that every child deserves to thrive and that the best place for them to experience that is in their own family.

“This award recognises the passion and dedication of our 4,000 volunteers who have come alongside isolated families; providing relationships that bring hope and enabling children to feel safe and happy in a connected and supported home.”

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