Family Support Resource Services (SSD), Lancaster
This relatively new service started January 2004 in response to the
‘Every Child Matters’ Green Paper, which advocates a universal
children and family service. It is a Lancashire County Council
initiative. This service was established as it was felt that there
was an over-reliance on residential care, and the family centre and
nursery services previously in place were obsolete due to the
influence of agencies such as Sure Start and Home Start. It was
planned as a targeted service whose key aims were to reduce the number
of children entering the care system and to empower parents. This
service is therefore consistent with the five Key Outcomes outlined in
the Children’s Bill, i.e. Being Healthy, Enjoying and Achieving,
Staying Safe, Making a Positive Contribution and economic well-being.
It offers 7 days per week service, if required, 8am – 8pm. The
service provides support to children, young people (0 –18) and their
The Service Manager told me that nine wards in the Morecambe Bay area
are in the 20% most deprived in England, and that approximately 10% of
Lancashire’s 260,000 children 0-17s live in Morecambe Bay. In and
around this area, Social Services work with nearly 900 children with a
disability, approximately 41 children are on the Child Protection
register, and there are approximately 162 ‘Looked After’ children.
England’s north-west also has some of the highest teenage pregnancy
rates in Europe.
The needs the Family Support Resource service provides for include
parenting skills with a view to; addressing routines, stimulation,
health and safety, behaviour management, self protection, parenting
assessments, the imminent danger of young people being Looked After,
help with life skills, assisting teenage parents, individual work with
children/young people and providing supervised contact sessions.
These needs are addressed by individual work in the Centre, family
homes and other settings, Co-Working on a multi-agency basis, and
specific groups and courses to address particular needs, e.g.
Parenting Courses and Young Parents Groups. A tailored package of
support is available to the Service User.
The Initial Assessment Team Social Worker made a request for Family
Support work to help Tommy (names have been changed) and his family,
under Section 17 CA1989, which states that a child shall be considered
to be a Child in Need if:
a) He is unlikely to achieve or maintain, or to have the opportunity
of achieving or maintaining a reasonable standard of health and
development without the provision for him of such services by the
b) His health or development is likely to be significantly impaired,
or further impaired without the provision for him of such services
c) He is...