The roll out of Integrated Family Support Services (IFSS) across Wales is a key priority of Sustainable Social Services: A Framework for Action. The expansion of the programme is being backed with an additional £1.4m million, bringing the total Welsh Government funding for IFSS to £3.3m.
Families accessing IFSS benefit from the support of a highly skilled team of multi-agency professionals who work intensively with children and families. The teams also work closely with partner agencies and professionals to ensure the family has prompt access to a wide range of services to enable them to make positive lifestyle changes in their child’s best interest.
These teams are already helping families with complex needs in Merthyr Tydfil, Rhondda Cynon Taf, Newport, and Wrexham. Over the next year, teams in Carmarthenshire, Ceredigion, Pembrokeshire, Powys, Cardiff and the Vale of Glamorgan, will begin work with families.
Gwenda Thomas said:
“Families with complex needs require support from a range of universal and targeted services. The expansion of IFSS together with the national programme for Families First will ensure these families receive the help they need.
“At the heart of my programme for a Sustainable Social Services for Wales are citizenship and rights. Our aim is to empower families to take positive steps towards a better life so the child and family can live together safely as a unit.
“IFSS is starting to make a difference in the areas in which it is already operating. Families are feeling confident about engaging with the service, and find the help of skilled professionals hugely beneficial to their motivation to change.
“I am also pleased that local authorities and their health board partners are rising to the challenge of better collaboration and have put forward some innovate approaches to implement IFSS and better serve their communities.”
In May 2011, consortia of local authorities and health boards were invited to bid to implement IFSS (Phase 2). The successful bids are:
- A regional consortia of Hywel Dda University Health Board, Powys Teaching Health board, and their respective local authorities of Carmarthenshire, Ceredigion, Pembrokeshire and Powys;
- A consortia of Cardiff and the Vale University Local Health Board and the local authorities of Cardiff Council and the Vale of Glamorgan Council.