Child social care in Fenland boosted by volunteers
Child social care services are being bolstered by a team of trained volunteers under a new agreement made by Cambridgeshire County Council.
The two-year £125,000 contract with the charity Community Service Volunteers (CSV) will fund up to 30 staff to work with the permanent social care team.
They will offer extra support to families referred by the council.
The Volunteers in Child Protection scheme will initially cover parts of the Fens from its Wisbech base.
CSV began piloting the volunteer social care model in 2003 and the schemes have since been implemented by a number of local authorities.'Introducing boundaries'
Jill Williams, CSV's UK development director, said: "This is not about cuts or saving money. We work in partnership with local authorities.
"Social care teams refer families to us if they think a volunteer could be helpful to support the family in a way that perhaps they can't.
"Social workers are constricted by time but we can go in anytime including evenings and weekends," she added.
Volunteers work with the families in their own homes offering parenting advice, help with budgeting, and introducing boundaries and routines for children.
A county council spokesman described the programme as a project that was designed to "help maintain children at home with their families and communities".
Although the volunteers will focus primarily on families in Fenland, if successful it is hoped the scheme can be rolled out across the county.