WillisPalmer provides a Family Reunification Service (FRS) primarily for younger children who are accommodated under S.20 or older children subject to a Care Order where the local authority is considering safe reunification to parents.
Our multi-disciplinary team comprising Independent Social Worker, Psychologist and Family Support Workers work together with the family to resolve risks that could impact a successful reunification plan, then provide intensive support throughout, and following the child’s return home.
Family Support Workers provide parenting guidance, teaching and modelling, as well as observation of the child’s experience of being parented. The level of Family Support is decided by the local authority in consultation with the WillisPalmer team and reviewed as the reunification plan progresses.
The service was developed to support local authorities who seek to reduce their number of children in care and prevent further, or repeating, episodes of care being required.
The majority of looked after children return home, according to research by the Family Rights Group, among others. 85% of all the children in state care return home to their family network or home communities within five years, and an estimated 92% return eventually. The possibility of a child’s return home in the following 12 months after leaving care remains high no matter how long a child has been away. Statistically, it is the most usual outcome.
This is not down to a court’s decision whereby they have deemed that the family is now safe to look after the child. It is usually because the child reaches an age, whilst still in care subject to a Care Order, when they choose to return home and being 16 it is difficult for the local authority to prevent them.
Therefore, it is our aim at WillisPalmer that the process is carried out in a managed and phased stage, addressing the issues which led to the child or children being taken into care or at risk of entering the care system to prevent them returning home and encountering the same problems that resulted in them being taken into care initially.
Using highly experienced and skilled experts to work alongside the family, the service aims to prevent the revolving door phenomenon of children entering and re-entering care by addressing the core issues in conjunction with the family and children.
For more information about our new innovative FRS model, please contact our Senior Referrals Manager Rachel Anthony who can answer any questions you may have relating to the service.
Telephone: 01206 878162