The first Pioneer areas will be led by Wrexham working with Flintshire and Denbighshire, and Rhondda Cynon Taf working with Merthyr Tydfil and Blaenau Gwent.
These areas have been selected to lead the way in demonstrating innovative ways of working and best practice models in their efforts to support families.
The aim of the Pioneers is to lead the way in improving the delivery of services to families across Wales, especially those living in poverty, as set out in the Assembly Government’s draft Child Poverty Strategy. The Assembly Government wants to rapidly identify best ways of working and share this on an all-Wales basis.
We intend to announce further Pioneer areas over time with the aim that all 22 local authorities in Wales will be part of this approach.
The Deputy Minister for Children said:
“In our Child Poverty Strategy, which I launched for consultation in May, I detailed my clear intention to develop new models of integrated working to better support families with children living in poverty. These new Pioneer areas are a major part of this commitment.
“Lifting children out of poverty is my priority which is why I want to investigate new and innovative ways of working with families whilst treating people as individuals. A one size fits all solution simply won’t work.
“I know that this work has its challenges – not least because of the difficult financial situation that we find ourselves in. But this is all the more reason to ensure that our investment to support families is being delivered in the most economic, efficient and effective way possible.”
The Assembly Government will work closely with local authorities and other partner organisations in the new Pioneer areas to identify effective joined-up working and best practice encompassing the following services and agencies:
- Health (including Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services)
- Youth Services
- Careers Wales
- Employment support
- Debt counselling / financial advice
- Community Development Initiatives
- Youth Justice Services and YOTs
- Information Services including the Family Information Service