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Hertfordshire Family Safeguarding Team wins Guardian Public Service Award

Hertfordshire Family Safeguarding Team wins Guardian Public Service Award

13 December 2017

An innovative multi-agency model for working with families in Hertfordshire has received widespread praise and won Hertfordshire County Council the Guardian Public Service Award 2017.  

The Family Safeguarding Team, which includes six specialist Recovery Workers from Spectrum Drug and Alcohol Recovery Service, provides integrated support for families facing the “toxic trio” of substance misuse, domestic abuse and mental health problems.

The team was established in 2015. As The Guardian reports:

"By the end of its first 12 months there was a 66% reduction in repeat police callouts to domestic abuse incidents. There has also been a 53% reduction in emergency hospital admissions for adults and a 36% improvement in pupils’ attendance at school.”

A big part of this new approach has been the focus on motivational interviewing in lieu of compliance monitoring for parents on child protection plans and the joint-working between groups of professionals enabling them to communicate meaningfully across organisations.

Tom Lydiate, Family Safeguarding Team Leader, said:

“Spectrum are delighted to be contributing to delivering this effective and innovative multiagency work within the FST partnership, this is a great accolade and deserved recognition for all the hard work and dedication from all staff working to keep families safe in Hertfordshire.”

The model’s success has encouraged other councils, including Luton Borough Council and Peterborough City Council to trial the initiative in their areas with the local CGL services and other partners.