Minister calls for new type of worker

A new type of professional is needed to tackle the causes of antisocial behaviour, Home Office minister Hazel Blears said last week.

She told Labour think-tank Progress’s annual conference that social workers, education and health staff were continuing to work in silos with disadvantaged families, reducing their effectiveness in preventing antisocial behaviour.

Blears said: “We go in as social workers, health visitors, education welfare officers and do the technical interventions and say our own little bit but the key is to build a relationship with these people.”

She said that a “multi-skilled” role could be created -Êpart health visitor, part education social worker -Êto promote a joined-up approach.

Blears was announcing the “second phase” of the government’s drive to tackle antisocial behaviour. This would focus on the “30 or 40 families” who, in each area, had the worst problems, such as mental health problems, substance misuse, sexual abuse and domestic violence.

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