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New Help For Troubled Families In Dorset

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8:04am 8th August 2013

Children from problem families are being helped in Dorset so they don't drift into a life of crime.

The County Council has teamed up with the Early Intervention Foundation who advise on the best services to help youngsters before school age.

It's all in an effort to tackle the root cause of social problems around the county.

While the local authorities and Police seek advice from the EIF a special database will be set-up where services can share information with local Councils about intervention strategies and performance.

Dorset County Council is one of 19 local authorities selected by the EIF to work on the pioneering pilot scheme.

Crime Commissioner Martyn Underhill said: "This is wonderful news for Dorset. If we can change the outcomes for 0-5 year olds, we can change a generation. 5-6 year olds who are failing to achieve in reading, writing or speech tend to remain at that level, failing to achieve until adulthood. This leads to increased frustration, low self-esteem and under achievement, which in turn increases the risk of offending and issues of poor anger management.

A multi-agency joined up approach to intervene early in dysfunctional families, or families at risk of dysfunction, can change children's outcomes."

Cllr Rebecca Knox, Cabinet member for children's safeguarding and families at Dorset County Council, echoed Underhill's enthusiasm saying the new partnership was a fantastic move for the county.

 "I'm delighted that Dorset has been selected as one of the first Early Intervention Places. The first few years of a child's life have a major impact on their future development and if we can tackle the root of a problem early on, we can help prevent matters getting worse.

We all have a duty to make sure that children are given equal chances in life. By joining forces with the Police and Crime Commissioner, plus colleagues in areas such as health and the fire service, we can pool our expertise and make best use of the money we have to help change children's lives for the better."

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