Securing the best start in life for our children and young people
Providing tailored family support
Leeds City Council
Using restorative approaches is a key element of Leeds City Council’s ambition to become a child friendly city. These approaches provide staff with a range of language, behaviours and tools that strengthen their relationships with children, young people and families, empowering them to share responsibility by using a solution-focused approach to support positive change. These practices are an important part of the way in which they support families to become better equipped to solve their difficulties and address challenges. One of the ways they do this is through a Family Group Conference. Extended families and staff meet together to consider risks and concerns about their children. The family talk privately to create a plan that fits in with their individual dynamics, and enables family leadership in the process. Through adopting restorative practices they have been able to safely and appropriately reduce the number of children being taken into care by 11.5% over 7 years, compared to a rise of 10.9% nationally over 6 years. This represents a saving in Leeds of £6m per year. Children’s Services in Leeds have recently been rated outstanding by Ofsted.