‘It is really hard to ask people what they actually need’. My strongest grounds for hope in 2015 lie in the rigorous honesty that I found recently in Barrow-in-Furness. A team of child and adult health and social workers has been formed there to serve their most vulnerable families, calling itself Love Barrow Families. A beautiful inversion of the ‘troubled’ language emanating from the centre. When I say ‘serve’, I mean that this team has authentically put itself at the service of the families they support. They have set out to shape their role and methods around the priorities agreed by the families themselves. Priorities as simple and challenging as ‘not to live in fear of having our children taken away’. The reason Love Barrow Families gives me hope for next year is that this team is made up of public sector workers, continuing to work within the public sector. … (To read the full article, subscribe below)

Julian Corner is chief executive of Lankelly Chase