National charity Safe Families for Children, who partner with Derby City Council, has won a Centre for Social Justice (CSJ) Award for its work connecting isolated families with volunteers in their community. The charity has helped over 7000 children since 2013.

The prize, presented this week at a prestigious venue in Central London, includes a £10,000 grant and promotion of the organisation’s vital work before an audience of influential politicians, journalists and philanthropists.

Safe Families for Children (Safe Families) started working in Derby in 2015. Safe Families believes every child needs to be loved and secure so that they can thrive. It works hand-in-hand with children’s services, linking isolated families with a network of local volunteers who can offer support and connect them into their community. Ultimately Safe Families aims to reduce the burden on children’s services with more families receiving support from within the community.

According to the Government, 32,810 children in England and Wales were taken into care in 2017.

Statistics also show that 23 per cent of the adult prison population has been in care, and nearly 40 per cent of prisoners under the age of twenty-one were in care as children.

To address these problems, Safe Families partners with Derby City Council, matching isolated families with local volunteers who can provide tailored help and ‘wraparound’ care. Involvement with Safe Families makes a crucial difference for families in preventing the need for children to go into care.

Kat Osborn, Chief Executive Officer of Safe Families, said:

“Safe Families are honoured to have been nominated to win this award alongside such inspirational charities. At Safe Families we believe that every child deserves to thrive and that the best place for them to experience that is in their own family.

“This award recognises the passion and dedication of our 4000 volunteers who have come alongside isolated families; providing relationships that bring hope and enabling children to feel safe and happy in a connected and supported home.”

Andy Cook, Chief Executive of the Centre for Social Justice think tank, said:

“Safe Families works with local community organisations such as churches and individual volunteers to relieve the pressures on families that may cause them to break apart. Breakdown has long-term and irreversible effects particularly on the children, as well as their parents.

“CSJ research has repeatedly shown that if children are not brought up in stable homes, they suffer across the board.

“The CSJ recognises Safe Families’ compassion, generosity and efficiency in helping families to rediscover hope. Above all, those who work on the ground in often unforgiving situations deserve immense gratitude.”