The roll out of Integrated Family Support Services (IFSS) across Wales is a key priority for the Welsh Government, supporting children and their families overcome the difficulties of parental substance misuse.
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 work closely with partner agencies and professionals to help the family access a wide range of services, enabling them to make positive lifestyle changes in their child’s best interest.
Significant progress has been made during the first two phases of implementation, with IFSS now running in 10 areas in Wales. The next phase will extend IFSS to the Swansea Bay collaboration of: Swansea, Neath Port Talbot and Bridgend local authorities, and Abertawe Bro Morgannwg Local Health Board.
Over the next two years an additional £1.3 million will be spent on the scheme to increase the number of teams across Wales. In total £4.5m will be allocated to fund the all-Wales IFSS.
The Welsh Government is working with the Care Council for Wales and Agored on an all-Wales IFSS training and accreditation programme, accessible to professionals and staff across the sectors. To date some 550 people have been trained and its continuation will ensure the sustainability of this new way of working.
Speaking at a Children in Wales event in Cardiff, Gwenda Thomas said:
“I have been impressed with the impact IFSS has made to families. Expansion of the scheme will benefit those affected by substance misuse in all areas of Wales.“The service supports families by empowering them to take positive steps to improve their lives.“Families with complex needs require support from a range of targeted services and I’m pleased that local authorities and their health board partners are rising to the challenge of collaboration to better serve their communities.“I value their commitment to IFSS and the wider transformation to improve public services for some of our most disadvantaged people.”