Suicide Prevention Day

 Suicide Prevention Day

Today is Suicide Prevention Day.

Suicide is still the number 1 cause of death in males under 35. Preventive methods begin with every one of us being open and willing to listen when we sense someone may not be feeling quite right. But it can be a hard conversation to start! Self harm and suicide are linked too.

Although they are very different behaviours (self harm is nearly always an attempt at coping and is often a life line) if you seriously self harm, requiring hospital admission for instance, you are twice as likely to die by suicide in the following year, as opposed to those not self harming. An alarming fact!

AGFS and 'Step by Step’ join forces to support and empower young people!

AGFS and 'Step by Step’ join forces to support and empower young people!

AG Family Support Ltd. is a passionate cheerleader of charitable causes and especially those which improve the lives and life-choices of vulnerable children and young people.

Our search for a charity partner has also been a humbling experience, because we have come across dozens of organisations which do make a positive difference to the lives of others. We are delighted to have partnered up with 'Step by Step’, which supports and empowers young people to break the cycle of homelessness.

Therapeutic Parenting Training by AGFS

Therapeutic Parenting Training by AGFS

Supporting parents to cope and flourish is a core value for us at AG Family Support. We are therefore delighted to now offer an evidence-based Therapeutic Parenting course called ‘Just What we Need’ (JWWN). The course is based on the principle that positive and nurturing parenting comes from parents who feel positive and fully equipped for the job!

This programme was developed by two Psychologists who saw the gap in traditional parenting courses, where parents felt so overwhelmed by their own emotional state, they found it too challenging to take on parenting skills training, and therefore dropped out or even just felt unable to access them.

A guide to assessment work in Poland

A guide to assessment work in Poland

In November 2017, the Polish government communicated its decision to bar UK-based social workers from family assessment work on Polish territory. Though the justification for this remains unclear, the consequences of such a move are likely to have far-reaching and detrimental impact on Polish children and families involved in care proceedings in England and Wales.

 

The reasons for this are two-fold. Firstly, due to huge legal, systemic and practice differences, Polish practitioners significantly struggle to produce assessment reports which comply with British evidential and welfare checklist standards.

Bilingual fostering service

Bilingual fostering service

In our experience this is one of the areas which is as much needed out there as it is underdeveloped/largely unavailable. Yes, there are some bilingual foster carers dotted around England and Wales (and thank goodness for them!), but the fact is that this resource is far from sufficient to meet the growing demand for culturally suitable foster placements.

Those carers are also scattered across private fostering agencies and numerous local authority in-house provisions throughout the country, so an average social worker would struggle to know where to even start. We at AGFS are determined to change this soon

Bespoke Language Service by AGFS

Bespoke Language Service by AGFS

We are delighted to now be offering Personalised Language Services to all professionals working with non-English speaking families and especially those involved in child protection and care proceedings.

 

Bespoke Language Services (BLS) is a service which is tailor made to suit any professional’s needs and it is just one phone call away. It is personalised in that it enables the professional to immediately access a range of language support provisions including…..

Bilingual Family Assessments - AGFS' innovative and effective approach

Bilingual Family Assessments - AGFS' innovative and effective approach

AGFS is regularly approached by social work professionals and the courts in regards to independent social work (ISW) assessments of families at risk. Whilst this specialist service is at the core of what we do and we have a team of experienced ISWs who take those referrals on, assessing non-English speaking families can present with a unique set of challengesto both, the assessor and the families they engage with. However, our niche specialism in this very area enables us to utilise a culturally competent approach, which then helps achieve best possible outcomes. The model of bilingual work which we have developed and regularly used over the past several years, has time and again proven most effective- it simply makes sense! ….

Bilingual Contact Supervision and its benefits.

Bilingual Contact Supervision and its benefits.

 

Consider the following scenario: the start of a contact visit is fast approaching, and the parents, whilst awaiting the arrival of their children, are joined in the waiting room by two more people: the supervisor and an interpreter. Everyone experiences a sense of relief because the interpreter has actually made it and contact can proceed; far too often, confusion over session times or booking issues mean the interpreter does not show up at all. The children arrive, and all present squeeze into a medium-sized contact room, with the supervisor standing as there is not enough space for them to sit down. The family’s verbal interactions with each other are constantly accompanied by the murmur of the interpreter conveying the content to the supervisor, who regularly asks clarifying questions of the interpreter. There are times when the interpreter asks the children to repeat what they have said to their parents, as the interpreter could not hear it clearly....

Contact - is it time to rebrand it ?

Contact - is it time to rebrand it ?

Our attendance at a recent NAGALRO London conference on matters related to Contact, has given us a lot of food for thought. There, time and again, a point was stressed that defining family interactions within contact settings as simply ‘contact’ may just be misrepresenting and simplifying the profound process that such meetings between children and their significant others is designed to facilitate. After all, whether in family or private law, whether for children in SGO, ICO, CO and even adoptive placements, contact signifies meaningful relationship building and helping explore the child’s ‘world of relationships’....

Community based assessments - are they worth it ?

Community based assessments - are they worth it ?

We are excited to be expanding in this important approach to assessment work… And yes, we at AGFS would argue that they are worth it. They are worth it because they can help avoid separating babies from their mothers. Secondly, the financial cost to local authorities of residential assessment unit accommodation, or indeed of long term care placements, is much higher. Thirdly, children and families who experience even a temporary separation tend to pay very high emotional price for the rest of their lives.......

The Brexit Effect

The Brexit Effect

And we all continue to live with uncertainly about what kind of future Britain is going to offer the multitudes of EU residents, who call this country home. I have actually found myself, for the first time since the Brexit referendum vote, feeling under pressure to apply for the British citizenship, which I could have done at any point in the past decade but never before thought as necessary.