Thursday 01 Aug 2013 @ 15:10
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Support for vulnerable families extended across Wales
A programme to deliver intensive support to families with complex needs has been established in five more local authority areas in Wales.
Integrated Family Support Services (IFSS) aim to keep families together by helping them to take positive steps to change and improve their lives. There are indications that it is already making a real difference to children and families in Wales where the impact of parental substance misuse is felt.
The new service in Caerphilly, Blaenau Gwent, Monmouthshire and Torfaen (working with Aneurin Bevan Health Board) and a partnership in Flintshire between Betsi Cadwaladr Health Board and the local authority, are part of the roll-out of IFSS across Wales by 2014.
Phase four of the roll-out of IFSS brings coverage to 18 local authority areas, working in partnership with their respective local health boards so that timely access to the service is available for some of the country’s most vulnerable children and families.
This is part of the Welsh Government’s vision for sustainable social services in Wales and is an example of the kind of partnership work outlined in the Social Services and Well-being (Wales) Bill which was laid before the National Assembly for Wales earlier this year.
IFSS places greater accountability and shared responsibility on children and adult services and promotes more effective joint working between heath and social services to support the family as a unit.
Gwenda Thomas, Deputy Minister for Social Services said:
“Substance misuse destroys families and it is often children who bear the brunt. To break the cycle that blights these families, over several generations in some cases, we must adapt the workforce and integrate services so that parents are given the support they need to care for their children and look after themselves.
“Local authorities and health boards are embracing IFSS and I’m pleased to see such strong partnerships as we introduce this new way of working in communities across Wales.”
Health Minister Mark Drakeford said:
“This is an excellent example of how integrating health and social services can help people with complex needs.
“The NHS, social services, and voluntary sectors are beginning to see this kind of collaboration as a necessity to achieve fully integrated health and social care in Wales.”