Wokingham Borough Council has continued to help and support families across the borough during the Covid-19 pandemic, successful adapting its vital services. The children’s service’s early help team is just one example.
Working with families in need of additional help, the council’s early help team support them in a variety of different ways, building skills and confidence and supporting them to develop a network that may incorporate family and friends, as well as local support groups and charities that the council work with through its Early Help Hub.
The early help team usually deliver support to families from venues across the borough, including at the council’s children’s centres. During the pandemic the team have been able to offer one to one support online for children and their families, as well as holding parenting groups for parents with children of all ages. This includes offering online sessions for parents that may need additional support, especially after giving birth.
The team have also continued to support young people with access to the Duke of Edinburgh award scheme which is usually run from Wokingham Youth Centre as well as various Wokingham schools.
Over the past year, early help staff have worked hard to ensure services are available to those in need, making the team more accessible through online group sessions as well as one to one chats. The team have adapted using all the technology available to them to communicate with families and other professionals including phone calls, WhatsApp, MS Teams and social media if appropriate.
“The last 12 months have been challenging for us all and we have worked hard to ensure we are there for those who most need us with our one front door service through Citizen’s Advice”, said Cllr Ullakarin Clark, executive member for children’s services.
“Our children’s service department has also worked tirelessly to ensure that families who may be struggling are offered the support they need.
“This has been challenging in the current climate but we have adapted our approach and our team’s, in this case the early help team, have been able to make themselves more accessible by providing online services to families who may be in need of our help. We have also been able to provide laptops where necessary to ensure we are able to reach those families who most need our help”.
If your family are experiencing difficulties or you feel you might need some extra support call 0118 908 8002 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss a referral to early help.
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