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West Sussex Children’s keyworkers receive overwhelmingly positive praise

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An independent local survey of parents currently receiving services from Children’s social care and early help support from the Think Family service has praised the Social Workers.

Conducted by Professor Eileen Munro, the survey aimed to understand more about families’ experiences and included questions on whether they feel listened to, whether they agree and whether they find him/her reliable.

The report stated: “The qualitative feedback from the parents was overwhelmingly positive. When asked what they would change about the way their worker worked with them, the majority (61%) of respondents said there was nothing they would change at all.

“When asked if there was anything further they’d like to add, 92% responded with wholly positive comments about their worker. It is striking in the West Sussex parents’ verbatim feedback that when they receive good service the parents notice and are very appreciative.”

One family stated: “’Think Family’ have been brilliant. They listen to what I, and my children want and have helped me a lot with practical things like appointments, forms and simple things that have made a difference and having someone to talk to.”

Another wrote about their social worker: “She has been a life saver, really supportive to me and my daughter. She has been there if I need support myself and listened to us individually. She is a superb worker we need more like her.”

Stephen Hillier, West Sussex County Council’s Cabinet Member for Children – Start of Life, said: “The results of this survey are exactly what we expect from our social workers as our children deserve the best support possible.

“It makes me incredibly proud of them as these parents surveyed have clearly picked up on their keyworkers passion and dedication. Our social care team and ‘Think Family’ keyworkers do a remarkable job and it is great to see them getting the recognition they deserve.”

A similar survey was carried out in June 2016 which also reported very good findings with most parents having an overall positive experience with their social worker.

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Northgate man sentenced to 18 years for sexual assaults on 10-year-old girl

A Crawley man has been given an 18-year-prison sentence for sexual assaults on a young girl.

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John Cole, 33, a mechanic, of Oak Way, Crawley, was sentenced at Hove Crown Court on Friday (11 October) having been found guilty after a five-day trial, of two offences of rape and four offences of engaging in sexual activity, against the 10-year-old girl between 2017 and 2018.

He will also be a registered sex offender for life.

Detective Constable Kirstie Prentice of the West Sussex Safeguarding Investigations Unit said;

“Cole came to know the young girl over a period of time and systematically sexually abused her, taking advantage of her age and natural vulnerability for his own sexual gratification, telling her her that if she told anyone they would both go to prison.

“Only when her mother found a note hidden in a backpack in the girl’s bedroom revealing she had been assaulted by him did the offending come to light, and police were informed.

“She has very bravely supported the investigation throughout and gave evidence against Cole in court, with special measures including a screen to help her.”

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