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Bexley plays key role in developing innovative scheme for young people

PUBLISHED: 07:00 18 January 2018

Bexley has helped to develop a new, innovative partnership, which focuses on keeping vulnerable families together and preventing young people from being taken into care.

The first of its type in London, Positive Families Partnership has been jointly commissioned by the five London borough councils of Bexley, Merton, Newham, Sutton and Tower Hamlets.

It has also received support from the Big Lottery Fund, which uses money raised by National Lottery players to help communities achieve their ambitions.

Over the next three years, Positive Families Partnership will work with more than 350 young people involved in serious anti-social behaviour and/or substance misuse, who have been identified as being at risk of going into care.

The young people and their families will be offered access to intensive therapeutic programmes, which are designed to help address the young person’s behavioural issues and improve how the family functions.

This has been made possible thanks to a unique collaboration between the social sector, local government and social investors.

Positive Families Partnership will work with three specialist delivery partners: Family Psychology Mututal, Family Action UK and the South West London & St George’s Mental Health Trust.

They collectively bring over 25 years of experience of implementing evidence-based programmes across the UK.

They will also benefit from management support from Social Finance UK and Bridges Fund Management, with the latter also providing over £4.5m of funding to cover the up-front costs of the programme.

Bexley’s cabinet member for children’s services, Cllr Philip Read, said: “We welcome this scheme which we believe will have a real impact on some of the Bexley young people and families who are most in need of help and support.

“Through detailed partnership with five other boroughs, a programme has been developed that can make a real tangiable difference.

Bexley is once more in the forefront of new thinking and I am proud to be taking this forward.”

The programme will be managed by the London Borough of Sutton, and operate initially in the five London Boroughs.

If successful, the partners hope to scale up their innovative work by rolling it out to other boroughs.

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