Council praises children's services employee honoured with MBE

Wandsworth Guardian: Michele Harris Michele Harris

Praise has been heaped on a Wandsworth Council employee who received an MBE in the Queen’s New Year Honours List.

Michele Harris, head of the local authority's Family Recovery Project (FRP), received the Royal decoration in recognition of her services to children and families.

Ms Harris has worked in social care for over 40 years, with her first job being with Wandsworth Council in 1972 as a house parent in a children’s' home. Since then she has spent most of her career in Wandsworth working with vulnerable young people.

Ms Harris said: "I’m very humbled and honoured to receive this award and the truth is it belongs to more than just me. My team and the many people I work with in Wandsworth do an incredible job everyday and they deserve this just as much as I do.

"It’s my privilege to serve my community and I feel very lucky to be recognised for doing the job I love."

In 2011 Ms Harris helped establish one of the country’s first Family Recovery Projects which is dedicated to identifying and supporting local households with the most serious and complex problems.

The team has since been highly commended by the Government for its success in turning these families around and tackling deep rooted issues.

Councillor Kathy Tracey, the council's children's services spokeswoman, said: "Congratulations to Michele who thoroughly deserves this honour.

"She has made an outstanding contribution to our community throughout her career and has our deepest gratitude and appreciation.

"The team Michele now leads is transforming the lives of our most seriously troubled families and the benefits of their work will be felt by in Wandsworth for generations to come."

The FRP is an innovative multi-agency service set up by Wandsworth Council and a wide range of statutory and voluntary sector agencies including the local police, health services and Job Centre Plus. The FRP works intensively alongside a small number of complex families focusing on treating the root causes of social breakdown rather than dealing only with its symptoms.

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