Christian charity nominated for four national awards
Safe Families for Children, a Christian charity working with churches and local authorities across England, has been shortlisted for four prestigious national awards for its work with vulnerable children and struggling families ...
Their work is aimed at preventing problems from escalating and children entering the care system.
The charity has been shortlisted for the Children and Young People Now Family Support Award, the 3rdSector Care Awards Community Engagement Award and Innovative Quality Outcomes Award, and the Centre for Social Justice Family Support Award.
With 90 children going into care every day across England and Wales, there are currently 72,670 ‘looked after’ children in England. Statistics show that outcomes for children who have been in the care system are often poor, with many experiencing homelessness or a prison sentence later in life.
Across England, local authorities measuring Safe Families impact found that the flow of children going into care reduced by between 7-14% with Safe Families support. Since it was founded in the UK in 2012, Safe Families endeavours to be a community-based solution to a community-based problem by using a simple model of people helping people.
By helping one family at a time Safe Families has already supported more than 1700 families and more than 4200 children using its network of around 3500 volunteers.
Keith Danby, Chief Executive of Safe Families for Children, said: “It’s an enormous honour to be shortlisted for these awards. It’s an indication of the work we are passionate about – creating better outcomes for children and families in crisis across England. We owe a huge debt of gratitude to the thousands of volunteers who have come forward and who provide so much hope and support to overwhelmed families.”
Marina, mum of nine-year-old Ryan, tragically lost her husband to leukaemia in 2014. Early in 2017 she was hit by more bad news when she received a breast cancer diagnosis.
With no family nearby to support Marina and Ryan, they were referred to Safe Families for Children. Volunteers stepped forward to support them through the surgery and 12-week recovery period when Marina was bed-bound.
“I was a little bit worried because I hadn’t been in this situation before and trusting somebody else with your child as a mum is a difficult thing to do! But the volunteers were absolutely fantastic and they made Ryan feel so comfortable with them.
“The hardest thing was family wise. Me and Ryan, we don’t have any support over here. It was really hard. I was missing my family terribly, not having anyone to talk to or anyone close by. So the volunteers kind of became part of my family. They used to come in and we’d have a cup of tea and chat about so many things.”