203New teams are being set up to support children, young people and their families across County Durham.

The Families First teams will include social workers, family support workers and other specialist staff who will work alongside staff in the One Point Service and be based at OnePoint Hubs.

Durham County Council believes the 10 new teams will enable it to best ensure that children and young people have the best chances in life.

Carole Payne, Durham County Council’s head of children’s services, said: “We want all children to be happy, healthy and achieve their full potential so we’ve been looking at how we can do things differently to best support families in the county.

“The new Families First teams will mean that workers are based in the community and will have more time to build strong, professional relationships with children, young people and families.

“They will also have knowledge of local organisations that may be able to provide additional help and support if needed.”

Parents and young people who are involved with council services have provided their views, supported by Investing in Children, to help in the development of the new teams.

The service was officially launched today (Tuesday, 29 September), with the first teams already up-and-running in Peterlee, Seaham and Chester-le-Street. The remaining seven will be in place by February 2016.

Anyone with a concern about a child or young person living in County Durham, can call the First Contact Service on 03000 26 79 79.