Rhondda Cynon Taf Council was one of the first local authorities in Wales to be selected by the Welsh Government to deliver Families First, as part of the wider national approach to tackling child poverty.
Families First promotes the development of effective, coordinated multi-agency work focussed on families, with a clear emphasis on early intervention and prevention to avoid statutory intervention.
Every one needs a helping hand in their lives every once in a while and Families First is about working with people and their children to help deal with issues before they become a problem or, worse, a crisis.
Families First identifies the needs of a family as a whole - as well as the individual issues faced by the people who form that family unit - wrapping bespoke care, support and assistance around that family to secure positive outcomes.
The aims or Families First nationally are:
- 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
- families are confident, nurturing, and resilient
Families First is a far-reaching programme with various elements.
A key part of its work is Team Around the Family, which coordinates and drives the support delivered by partner agencies to a particular family, based on the needs of that family.
Support could come from schools, relatives, substance misuse support agencies, youth workers, financial advisors and welfare rights experts, housing, sports development workers, health workers and more.
As well as the main Team Around the Family approach, Families First in Rhondda Cynon Taf also commissions and supports a range of schemes and initiatives to assist families.
These include access to sport for disabled children, early intervention, arts, sports, culture and academic development, welfare rights and benefits advice, supporting young people in education, employment and training, consulting with young people on the services that matter to them, health and wellbeing (including sport, fitness, weight management, mental health and sexual health)
For more information, contact the Family Information Service.