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Family Support

The family support team has always been essential in the way that Phoenix works and the service that we provide.  The senior family support worker oversees all of the family support provided by the agency, and ensures that help is focused where it is most needed. The team is flexible and provides a range of services, including:

  • Children and young people who are in solo placements are allocated their own family support worker, and have family support sessions on a regular basis (usually weekly).

  • Family support workers play an active role in the therapeutic placement plans for each child and young person placed with the agency. This work can take many forms, but family support workers tend to focus on four central themes: behaviour; child’s narrative; self-regulation and self-esteem; social skills.

  • Placement plans identifying the particular needs of each child and young person inform structured pieces of work as well as broader areas that the family support worker concentrates on during their time with the child.

  • Family support workers respond to crises and areas of particular difficulties within placements.  The support they are able to offer has undoubtedly prevented placement breakdowns on a number of occasions.

  • Family support workers advocate for children and young people, representing them whenever children request them to do so, and accompanying them to a range of meetings.

  • Family support workers provide escort services for children and young people, supervise contact with family members and significant others, and support children’s relationships with people who are important to them outside the placement.

  • Family support workers plan and carry out life story work in partnership with children and young people where required.

  • Family support workers read the daily summaries produced by foster carers regarding their placements, and respond to issues and concerns as necessary.


A team of family support workers provides nearly every child with long-term support on a weekly basis.  This exemplary level of support helps children to thrive and develop long-term relationships with these workers.  One local authority social worker said, 'The work he does with [my child] is priceless.'  A teacher commented about another child, 'She considers the emotions of other people [now], and she's working hard to develop her tolerance [of them].

- Ofsted 2018

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