Caring for Islington families
Islington Council’s children’s services has just been given a glowing report by national inspection team Ofsted.
Ofsted sent inspectors to the council to scrutinise how the children’s services department works, looking in particular at the support the council offers to vulnerable children and families. Their inspectors said the services are good, and that the leadership is outstanding – the highest rating available.
We spoke to Lucy Jenkins, a family support worker at a children’s centre about her job and how she helps care for Islington families.
Lucy’s main focus is to provide support to families tailored to their specific needs. This could be helping parents to bond with their children or deal with behavioural issues, how they can access services and support networks for themselves and their children. She also offers help with issues like housing, money or getting back into work and training.
“A mum with young children and another baby on the way was struggling to cope and was quite isolated,” says Lucy. “She was initially resistant to placing her youngest child in childcare, but I was able to build trust over time so that she felt comfortable with this. Meanwhile, I helped her to access financial support and mental health services.
“Her child has seen huge improvements in speech and language skills since taking up an early years’ place, while mum has had more time to bond with her new baby and address her own issues. In the long run we’re working towards her getting ready to get back into training or employment.
“The best thing about my job is working with families to have a positive outcome and engage them with universal services. My job is very rewarding and I feel it’s important to me that I make a difference in their life so they can reach their full potential.”
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