A CHARITY which aims to prevent children from needlessly having to go into the care system is celebrating seeing its volunteer support improve the lives of 5,000 children across England.

Safe Families for Children has been working with local authorities on the south coast since 2016 and has benefitted 276 children in the area. Children and their parents/carers are supported by volunteers from the local community who have been recruited and trained by the charity.

Among other benefits, volunteer support was found to improve positive parenting. Good parenting is at the heart of children’s wellbeing and development. When a parent’s own wellbeing is poor then they can struggle to care for their children. When parents are unwell or unable to cope, children often suffer.

Keith Danby, chief executive of Safe Families for Children said: “The increase in children becoming ‘looked after’ is recognised as a growing crisis by many in the care sector. It’s generally agreed that some urgent action must be taken. We believe that volunteer support from the community can go a long way to stabilising family situations in times of acute stress or dysfunction. We’ve seen so many families benefit from having community support and respite when they are at their wits end.”