Published Friday 31 October 2014 at 11:49
Blackburn with Darwen Council has received national recognition for its alternative to care model for young people.
Linda Clegg, director of children’s services, and Karen Barrick, head of permanence, spoke at the National children and adult services conference outlining the work of the Adolescence Support Unit (ASU) at Lytham Road.
The ASU model enables the Council to deliver effective support services to adolescents and their families as an alternative to care. The benefits are that families remain together and work through difficulties and less teenagers come into expensive residential placements. The work done with families benefits other children in the family too as parents learn skills to help them cope better.
The Council was asked to outline the model’s success at the conference, a prestigious gathering of senior government officials, policy makers and politicians, councillors and directors. The ASU was also featured in a Guardian Society article and included interviews with young people and their families who have benefited from the services.
The young people also contributed to a video to say how Lytham Road had changed their lives.
Councillor Frank Connor, Executive Member for Children’s Services, said:
I am very proud of the work the ASU does in supporting some of our most vulnerable young people. We introduced the model seven years ago and it has produced significant results. You just have to listen to some of the young people who have been supported by the ASU to show that even in tough times, the investment into such an innovative service is vital.
Linda Clegg, Director of Children’s Services, said:
I was honoured to tell fellow professional about the work our ASU is doing. Other councils have seen what we do here and are adopting the model themselves. Young people and families who engage with this service tell us how valuable it is. Their stories show the difference this service has made to their lives.
You can see the Guardian piece here