The Family Support Workers "find" their clients by means of referrals from a wide variety of sources related to government. Schools - teachers, educational welfare officers, educational psychologists - general practitioners as well as other NHS professionals including Health Visitors and School Nurses, Social Service Department staff, Job Centre advice workers - as well as members of the church, particularly the clergy, refer clients to us. Large numbers of clients refer themselves.
Unlike statutory bodies who often limit client support to a maximum period of time, FSW workers have no set limits and are available by phone during office hours or answer-phone in addition to one-to-one or group meetings. The work of FSW complements that of statutory agencies, rather than in any way duplicating it. It can be described as Prevention as well as Partnership. Our focus is on the whole family holistically. Our underlying aim is to help keep families together, not separate them, which is often a fear of parents facing difficult situations.
"The Family Support Work enables the team to help families, often in times of great difficulty and chaos, for as long as they need us. Unlike many services aimed at supporting families, we have no time limit or set outcomes to prove. Research shows that pro-active work with parents is much more effective than reactive work with children in crisis. The service we offer acknowledges that parents, especially those coping alone, need and deserve support - there is no manual for the difficult job of raising children. What is so different about FSW is that we work directly with some of the more vulnerable members of our community. We do so in the full knowledge and confidence that we carry with us the prayers, kindness and support of so many."
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