A PIONEERING new lifeline has been thrown to Wigan youngsters and their families struggling with mental health.
The council was celebrating today after successfully securing £920,000 from the Government for a new specialised “safe haven” where they can receive the treatment they need to put them back on the road to recovery.
The funding will be used by the local authority to create a special team of social care and mental health experts to offer crisis support for young people with mental health issues or at risk of entering care.
The team will also work alongside a residential children’s home, providing respite care, short breaks and short-term placements, as well as a group of specialist foster carers, to support these young people reaching breaking point and help them to succeed in life.
Children and Families Minister, Edward Timpson, said: “This programme will deliver real results for young adults with significant mental health problems living in Wigan.
“By focusing on the needs of these vulnerable young people, Wigan can ensure they get the tailored support they need in order to thrive.
“I am hugely excited to see where this project leads.”
Coun Joanne Platt, cabinet member for children and young people at Wigan Council, said: “We welcome the level of trust given to Wigan Council and Wigan CCG by the Government, as demonstrated in the investment in our work on adolescent mental health.
“We want to help prevent those at risk of developing serious mental health issues by adopting an early intervention and prevention approach - to ensure they and their families are able to lead happy and healthy lives. We are committed to sharing our learning across Greater Manchester and England and I can guarantee that innovation will be at the centre of our approach.”
The scheme is one of the latest projects that have successfully bid for money through the government’s Innovation Programme.
The programme – backed by funding worth £100m – aims to kick-start the most promising proposals for new ways of providing children’s social care, such as supporting young people leaving care and taking their first steps into adulthood or looking at new bespoke services such as FGM prevention.
The Government’s Innovation Programme focuses on two key target areas: fresh ways of working in children’s social work and better support for young people in or on the edge of care. Exciting proposals that have successfully secured funding to date include:
£2m for a brand new national programme backed by Barnardo’s and the Local Government Association which will create a highly specialised team of skilled social workers with extensive experience of working with those at risk of FGM
The roll-out of a new project aimed at creating homes-from-homes for families teetering on the edge of crisis - from befriending and providing much needed help for struggling or isolated parents, to offering a safe space for the night to children and young people when there is a family crisis or their home life is proving too much to bear;
The expansion of a project which helps women who have had successive children taken into care by interrupting repeat pregnancies and giving them a chance to turn their lives around.