Christian foster campaigner welcomes new Government funding to keep families together

(Photo: Unsplash/La-Rel Easter)

Christian foster and adoption campaigner Dr Krish Kandiah has welcomed the Government's decision to invest £15m into keeping families together. 

The new cash injection will go towards supporting families where children are at risk of being taken into care because of domestic violence, substance misuse or addiction, among other issues. 

The programme, Supporting Families; Investing in Practice, will help these families work through their issues with the aim of creating stability in the home for young family members and prevent them from being taken into care where this is deemed in their best interests by social workers.

It is being rolled out across 40 local council areas after initial stages showed promising results.

The investment has been welcomed by Dr Kandiah, founder of Home For Good, a Christian charity encouraging and supporting more people within the church to become foster carers and adoptive parents. 

According to charity figures, a child in the UK goes into care every 15 minutes, many of them having suffered neglect or abuse, but local authorities are hindered by a chronic shortage in foster carers, with an estimated 8,100 needed this year to meet demand. 

"There are more children in the UK care system than ever before. We believe that children thrive in families which is why home for good seeks to find loving foster or adoptive families for every child who needs one," said Dr Kandiah.

"Wherever possible, children should be able to grow and flourish within their birth family. In some cases, families do not the receive the support that would enable their children to remain safely at home.

"So we welcome this significant investment from the government. It is our hope that it will help children who don't need to come into care to stay with their families and experience stable, loving relationships." 

Supporting Families is modelled on two existing projects, both of which have helped improve family reunification.  Under the Family Drug and Alcohol Courts, parents work with a team of substance misuse specialists, domestic violence experts, psychiatrists and social workers on a 'trial for change', while Family Group Conferences offer a mediated process bringing in the wider family network and children to work out a plan for how the family can flourish safely.

Announcing the investment, Children and Families Minister Nadhim Zahawi said: "Every child, no matter what hand they have been dealt, deserves the opportunity to grow up in a stable, loving family so they can develop into confident adults equipped to take on life's challenges successfully.

"For too many children, this is not the reality, and we are seeing rising numbers of children going into care. Often, their parents are struggling with problems of their own and that has an impact on the whole family.

"Projects like these are making sure vulnerable families get the support they need from experts who can help them address their problems head on and stop them from spiralling out of control.

"I want to see children to be able to stay with their family where it's appropriate and safe for them to do that – that's why I will continue to back innovative approaches with a track record of success in doing this, to give the most vulnerable children in our society the best chances in life."