Tameside to create a SHiFT in vulnerable children’s lives

Date Released - 28/09/2022

AN INNOVATIVE scheme that helps prevent vulnerable young people from being drawn into risky behaviours that could impact negatively on both them and their communities is coming to Tameside.

Tameside Council’s Cabinet has agreed for the authority to collaborate with the national charity SHiFT and the Greater Manchester Violence Reduction Unit – becoming the first area outside of London to engage with the initiative.

SHiFT aims to break the destructive cycle of young people caught up in a situation that they are struggling to control or remove themselves from. Each participant would have one intensive, high-quality, and persistent practitioner to establish a trusting professional relationship with, giving them the support they need to improve their lives.

The London borough of Greenwich has reported a marked improvement in the quality of practice and an improvement in outcomes for the young people worked with, and that practitioners are able to work more intensively and creatively with children with more complex support needs.

Tameside SHiFT will draw on its experience to develop a Practice of multi-skilled professionals that will be carefully tailored to the meet the local needs of Tameside’s young people. The Practice will support 27 children in the borough identified by a wide range of professionals as the most vulnerable.

The programme intends to make Tameside a beacon of excellence in Greater Manchester, with the aspiration to scale the Practice further across the area, creating more opportunities for collaboration.

Tameside Council’s Deputy Executive Leader Councillor Bill Fairfoull, who has responsibility for Children and Families, said: “By agreeing to this collaboration, Tameside will become the first area outside of London to work with SHiFT and will lead the way in creating innovative solutions to end cycles of harm.

“The tailored programme will provide outstanding support for the most vulnerable children in Tameside to transform their lives, achieve their aspirations and establish the safe and bright futures they deserve, which will benefit society as a whole.”

The £556,500 cost for an initial 18-month programme will be mostly funded by the GM Violence Reduction Unit, contributions from the charities the Bruno Schroder Trust and the Dulverton Trust, and from un-invested SHiFT reserves. The impact of the service will be independently evaluated.