Child contact centre staff finding new ways to help local families
Drivers from Buckinghamshire Council’s Children’s Services team are taking on vital new roles across Buckinghamshire, including transporting families to safety and delivering essential supplies.
As a result of government guidelines to close contact centres and for people to stay home, the service has been supporting children and families to keep in touch in different ways, with some of the staff taking on different roles to help out where they can.
Dion Cloke and Esther Clarke, two drivers from the Council’s child contact centres, would normally transport children to and from visits and appointments.
But with the contact centres currently closed, Dion and Esther have been getting involved in a range of activities to support children and families in the county, from collecting and delivering food parcels to care leavers, collecting medication, baby products and purchasing and delivering other essential supplies.
Both Dion and Esther have supported social work teams with other essential tasks including transporting a newborn baby and mother to a new place to live, transporting a family to a place of safety following a domestic violence incident and helping a vulnerable care leaver move accommodation. All of these journeys meant going above and beyond, many times returning home late at night
Dion said, “The families we normally work with are vulnerable, but a pandemic like this can really make things so much more difficult for them, so we’re pleased we can still help.”
“We are working hard but these young people and families need our support and community, so it is all worthwhile”, added Esther.
Buckinghamshire Council’s Cabinet Member for Children’s Services, Mark Shaw says, “The dedication and compassion to help our vulnerable families really does make me proud of our staff and #ProudofBucks!”
“We know there are vulnerable families and young people living alone with no one looking out for them who might need extra help. So if you do know of someone that needs support, or you see something suspicious, trust your instincts and get in touch.”
If you know a family or young person who may need support please get in touch with our community hub team https://www.buckinghamshire.gov.uk/coronavirus/community-hub/
If you or someone you know is experiencing domestic violence then please contact the police on 999 if it’s an emergency, alternatively call 101 or report it online