ORGANISATIONS from Carmarthenshire, Ceredigion, Pembrokeshire and Powys have come together to showcase the work of the Integrated Family Support Service (IFSS)and the role it plays in supporting vulnerable children and families. Integrated Family Support Services are a Welsh Government initiative providing support for families whose lives are affected by parental drug and alcohol misuse.
The Mid and West Wales IFSS was established in 2012 and each Integrated Family Support Team brings together highly skilled professionals from social care and health care with specialist experience to work directly with referred families. During its first full year (2013/14) the regional service received 131 family referrals involving 255 children and 12 unborn children.
The Conference, held at Parc Y Scarlets, provided an opportunity for the region’s four Integrated Family Support Teams to come together and share experiences and best practice. Anna Bird, Head of Partnership Development for Vulnerable Children and Families at Hywel Dda UHB, said: “Sometimes families experience difficulties and risk losing their children into care or having their names placed on the Child Protection Register.
The Integrated Family Support Team in each county works with families affected by parental substance misuse to help them to make positive changes so that any concerns are lessened and the children can remain can remain safely at home. “We are particularly grateful to members of families who have been referred to the service who gave their time to informally share their experience of the intervention with attendees.”
Attendees included a wide range of senior managers and professionals from Carmarthenshire, Ceredigion, Pembrokeshire and Powys County Councils, Hywel Dda University Health Board and Powys Teaching Health Board, probation services and youth offending services as well as members of the IFSS Regional Family Support Board and other all Wales IFSS Consortium staff. Anna added: “The day provided a fantastic opportunity for the teams to share experiences and for delegates to hear first-hand about the outcomes that have been achieved for children, families and professionals.”