Wolverhampton service which helps children avoid exploitation wins award

A service which supports young people at risk of exploitation or going into care in Wolverhampton has won a prestigious national award.

Power2 team members with Councillor Beverley Momenabadi, the council’s Cabinet Member for Children and Young People, and left, event host and TV presenter Clive Myrie and Councillor Ian Brookfield, Leader of the City of Wolverhampton Council.
Power2 team members with Councillor Beverley Momenabadi, the council’s Cabinet Member for Children and Young People, and left, event host and TV presenter Clive Myrie and Councillor Ian Brookfield, Leader of the City of Wolverhampton Council.

The City of Wolverhampton Council's Power2 service won the Innovation in Children's and Adults Services category at the MJ Achievement Awards event hosted by newsreader and TV presenter Clive Myrie.

The service 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.

Over the last three years it has helped dozens of vulnerable 11 to 25-year-olds turn their lives around, improving school attendance and family relationships and preventing them from getting involved in high-risk and criminal activities or being taken into care.

Power2 builds positive, trusting relationships with young people and supports them to address the previous trauma they have experienced, which could include physical abuse, neglect, mental illness and separation or loss.

The service 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, and what was initially a pilot project has now become permanent.

Councillor Beverley Momenabadi, the council’s cabinet member for children and young people, said: "The Power2 service has been a real game-changer in our approach to supporting vulnerable young people.

"Thoroughly evaluated and evidenced, it is a great example of how a multi-disciplinary team can seamlessly tailor their support offer to help improve the life chances for each young person and their family.

"I am delighted that the innovation we have displayed in establishing this service has been recognised with an MJ Award and would like to thank the team for their continuing efforts for some of our city's most vulnerable children, young people and their families."

Executive director of families, Emma Bennett, added: "I was really proud when I heard we had won this category – especially as this team is one which we developed ourselves, in-house, and have now agreed to fund permanently. Huge congratulations to the whole team, including our partners, for their hard work."

The Power2 service is a multi-disciplinary, multi-agency partnership between children’s social care, adult social care, public health, the Black Country and West Birmingham Clinical Commissioning Group, The Royal Wolverhampton NHS Trust and keyworkers from the voluntary sector including St Giles, Barnardo’s, Wolverhampton 360 and Gazebo Theatre.

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