Families First is an innovative programme that promotes the development by local authority areas of effective multi-agency systems and support, with a clear emphasis on prevention and early intervention for families, particularly those living in poverty.
It sits alongside other Welsh Government programmes such as:
- Flying Start
- Communities First
- Integrated Family Support Service.
The belief is that the best way of supporting children, particularly those living in poverty, is
by working with the whole family and evidence suggests early support can reduce the likelihood of families developing more complicated and costly needs.
Families need different levels of support depending on their circumstances. Complicated
problems will need more intensive support. However, some families may need help to
overcome smaller problems to avoid them becoming complicated.
Supporting a family often involves many different teams and services and the Families
First approach seeks to ensure that these services are working well together so the family
is well supported.
Families First Principles
To develop an integrated approach to family support in Wales, the support provided should be:
- family- focused, taking a whole family approach to improving outcomes;
- bespoke, tailoring help to individual familycircumstances;
- integrated, with effective co-ordination of planning and service provision across organisations, ensuring that needs assessment and delivery are jointly managed and that there is a seamless progression for families between different interventions and programmes;
- pro-active, seeking early identification and appropriate intervention for families;
- intensive, with a vigorous approach and relentless focus, adapting to families’ changing circumstances; and
- local, identifying the needs of local communities and developing appropriate service delivery to fit those needs, with particular regard for the opportunities to link with, for example, the Flying Start and Communities First programmes.
Families First projects will be expected to demonstrate four key outcomes (real changes) in relation to tackling child poverty:
- working age people in low income families gain, and progress within employment;
- children, young people and families, in or at risk of poverty, achieve their potential;
- children, young people and families are healthy, safe and enjoy well being; and
- families are confident, nurturing, and resilient.
Families First – Cardiff
From April 2013 six new service packages will commence that aim to support families by
ensuring that that they receive timely support that takes into account individual needs,
circumstances and aspirations. These packages will focus upon early intervention, prevention and protection across all aspects of daily living for children and young people from ages of 0-25.
One service strand will focus upon the engagement of children and young people to encourage take up opportunities in education and training leading to employment, another will offer support and assistance to improve the emotional wellbeing of children and young people while a third will promote and encourage healthier lifestyles. An Early Years package focussing upon support for younger families should help ensure that children, (mums, dads and families), are helped to get the best possible start in life and another package will support young people seeking employment.
For families with a disabled child or young adult, a consortia led by Action For Children will
offer families hands-on and targeted support and assistance to ensure that they are able
to maximise their life chances. The Parents’ Federation will play a key role in this consortia
by offering families information, signposting and assistance as required to identify and contact appropriate sources of support.
This is an exciting new initiative and all families with a disabled child across Cardiff should
benefit including those that may not receive a service or do not reach eligibility criteria for
council funded support services.
By working together we aim to help families find the most appropriate opportunities suited
to their individual needs. All families living in Cardiff with a learning disabled child or young adult should ensure that they contact the Parents’ Federation to find out what support is available. This service is free and confidential.
To find out how we can help you contact the
Tel: 029 2056 5917
For enquiries about the wider Families First initiatives contact:
Tel: 029 2087 2670