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Integrated Family Support Services (IFSS)

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The FAQ document offers informal advice and guidance to those currently operating IFSS, and people developing services for the future.
Gwenda Thomas, Deputy Minister for Children and Social Services
The Integrated Family Support Service went live on 1st September 2010 in four areas in Wales.

The IFSS help some of the most vulnerable children and families in Wales.

Services focus on families where parents have substance misuse problems that affect the welfare of their children. IFSS teams started work on 1st September 2010 and will operate throughout Wales by 2014.

IFSS is a programme unique to Wales. Its work is described in detail in the Child and Family (Wales) Measure 2010 and associated regulations. 

Local authorities and their Health Board partners are required to work together to establish the service and provide support/ services to families.

Addressing complex problems

In families with complex problems there is an increased likelihood that the child’s physical, social and emotional development will be impaired.

For some children there will be repeated or long term episodes of being looked after by the local authority. The service aims to support families to stay together by empowering them to take positive steps to improve their lives. IFSS Teams provide targeted support and help connect children and adult services, focusing on the family as a unit.
The service will initially concentrate on families where there is parental substance misuse, and  concerns about child welfare.  

This approach ensures greater accountability and shared responsibility in  child and adult social services.

Integrating services

IFSS is part of broader support for disadvantaged families with complex needs, complementary to the Flying Start, and Families First programmes.

Regulations

Integrated Family Support Teams (Composition of Teams and Board Functions) 2012 (external link)  

Integrated Family Support Teams (Family Support Functions) (Wales) Regulations 2012 (external link)                 

Integrated Family Support Teams (Review of Cases) Regulations 2012 (external link)