Over the last two years, the multi disciplinary Power2 team has supported dozens of vulnerable 11 to 25 year olds to turn their lives around, improving school attendance and family relationships and preventing them from getting involved in high risk and criminal activities or having to be taken into care.
The team works with young people at risk of gang exploitation or child sexual exploitation, substance misuse or criminal or anti social behaviour, those who have been excluded from school or violent towards other people in the home, or those who have been subject to missing episodes.
Staff build positive, trusting relationships with young people and work with them to address the previous trauma they have experienced, which could include physical abuse, neglect, mental illness and separation or loss. The team uses creative ways of working and engaging with young people to help them understand what has happened to them and to support them on their journey of recovery.
Their work was commended as good practice in recent inspections of local care and support services by Ofsted, the Care Quality Commission and HM Inspectorate of Probation, while the fact that the team work with young people up to the age of 25, and not just 18, is also seen as an innovative approach, helping to smooth the transition into adulthood.
The City of Wolverhampton Council has committed funding for the service for the coming financial year, and is now looking to work with partners to establish a longer term multi agency funding model for the team.
Councillor Beverley Momenabadi, the City of Wolverhampton Council's Cabinet Member for Children and Young People, said: "We are committed to doing all we can to ensure that children and young people are able to grow up safely and happily with their families, and keep to a minimum the number who ultimately have to be taken into care.
"The Power2 team has had a very important role to play in this, and the support it has provided to some of our most vulnerable children and young people over the last couple of years has had real impact, helping them to exert more positive control over their lives as they make the move into adulthood.
"It has also brought significant savings to local taxpayers – we estimate that the work of the Power2 team in reducing the need for other interventions has helped avoid costs of around £5 million across the wider support system over the last couple of years.
"While this is of course very welcome, the most important thing is that the team have been able to secure much improved outcomes for children and young people, and I am delighted that funding has been confirmed for the next 12 months."