Northern Trust launch Supporting Families Strategy

The Northern Trust has launched a five year ‘Supporting Families Strategy’, outlining how it will work with families and local communities to support and, where necessary, protect children.

The strategy reinforces the principles outlined in Transforming Your Care and strengthens the Trust belief that children are best cared for, where possible, in their own homes and local communities; where that is not possible they should be supported in a family environment.

“Children have a better quality of life when they are cared for by their immediate family and supported by extended families and universal services within strong communities," explained Director of Children’s Services, Marie Roulston. “This strategy looks at how we can support parents and families in this daunting, though ultimately rewarding task”.

The Strategy outlines how the Trust will move away from a crisis-led intervention model towards one of early intervention and support in the early years. Underpinning this is a commitment to support families by identifying problems at an early stage and providing appropriate services in local communities to support and empower families.

The strategy also marks a fundamental shift in how the Trust manages family intervention, with families and communities now considered partners in securing resolution and developing child-centred plans.

When there is a clear concern about a child or families’ safety and they are assessed as having safeguarding needs support will be provided through specialist services. Those children who cannot be cared for by their families and those with more complex needs deserve service provision of the highest calibre.

The Strategy covers public health, maternity, paediatric, family support services and social services as well as external partners in education, justice and the community and voluntary sector.

Children's Services for the Northern Health and Social Care Trust

NHSCT L-R: Veronica Callaghan, Assistant Director Children's Services, Susan Gault, Head of Public Health Nursing, Susan Procter, Health Visitor, Catherine Cooke, Social Worker and Marie Roulston, Director of Children's Services for the Northern Health and Social Care Trust launch the Supporting Families Strategy

Supporting Families

Supporting Families L-R: Helen McCrindle, Senior Practitioner, Ciara McKillop, Principal Practitioner Children's Services, Marie Roulston, Director of Children's Services, Maura Dargan, Head of Service, Dr Tony Stevens, Trust Chief Executive, Dr Sinead Dickson, Clinical Psychologist, Sharon McNeill, Social Work Services Manager and Ann Lapping, Senior Social Worker, NI Hospice at the launch of the Supporting Families Strategy in the Northern Trust

Positive outcomes achieved through therapeutic foster care

Positive outcomes achieved through therapeutic foster care: Audrey and Philip McLaughlin from Newtownabbey, Foster Carers for over twenty years with Helen McCrindle, Specialist Fostering Team. Helen talked at the Supporting Families Strategy Launch about the couple's enduring commitments to the children in their care

Page last updated:06 January 2015