Torbay Children’s Services continues to improve its work with families


Torbay Council’s Children’s Services is improving the way it works with children and their families.

The wide range of improvements being made, many of which are already in place, will help the council achieve its ambition to make the whole of Torbay a family-friendly area in which to live, work and bring up children.

The latest improvement aims to support family decision making at the earliest opportunity, meaning children, young people and their parents will get to play a full part in deciding what support services they will receive through the help of a Family Group Conference.

Attended by family members and key professionals, Family Group Conferences are part of a technique called ‘restorative practice’ which aim to build, strengthen and repair relationships between children and their families.

Family Group Conferences are proven to be extremely effective in supporting families to overcome and become better equipped to deal with the challenges they are facing at the earliest possible stage. They lead to good outcomes for children and in most cases prevent the need for more specialist services.

Cllr Cordelia Law, Cabinet Member for Children’s Services, Torbay Council, said: “As a council, one of our top priorities is protecting Torbay’s children and helping them to get the best start in life. Restorative Practice and Family Group Conferences are about enabling social workers and families to work alongside each other to agree the best outcome for the child or young person, preventing the need for further intervention. I am really excited that we are training all of our social workers in this method which will really help improve the quality of family life for those we work with”.

Nancy Meehan, Director of Children’s Services, Torbay Council, said: “Restorative practice is an important way in which we can support families to become better equipped to solve their difficulties and address challenges. This outcome-focused approach will have a positive impact on the families we work with. Whilst there is still much work to be done to improve our children’s services, introducing this way of working in which all of our social workers will be formally trained in is a key development for us on our improvement journey, and a clear demonstration of our commitment to placing children at the heart of everything we do”.

All children with a Social Worker can access a Family Group Conference at any point of their involvement. To find out more visit our website:

The social workers are highly committed, supported and confident, if you would like to be part of a team on a child-first new mission head to

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