What is the Innovation Programme

The Department for Education confirmed on 3 March 2015 that it has awarded Hampshire and the Isle of Wight almost £4 million from its Innovations Fund in order to reform children's social work.

The funding will be used to introduce a series of measures that challenge the traditional ways of working, significantly reducing bureaucracy while improving outcomes for children in need of care and protection, and reducing spiralling demand for children's social services in the longer term. These focus on the creation of the new specialist family intervention teams, making more use of voluntary support to connect with communities and improving the support to social workers so they have increased time to spend with vulnerable children and young people.

We will be setting up networks of volunteers to work with children and families in their communities. Training will be provided to volunteers.

Read the official press release

The type of people we are looking for are those who can mentor young people, provide support to excluded children or children in care, or can help support parents with parenting skills. There is a range of volunteering opportunities available, and volunteers can give as little as an hour or two per week, or more if interested, providing on-going family support.

What to do if you are interested

To find out more, please email your name and contact details to innovation.volunteers@hants.gov.uk