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Intensive Family Support Service Helps Loosen the Grip of Poverty for Vulnerable Families

The Intensive Family Support Service is a City Region Deal initiative managed by Capital City Partnership which launched in July 2020 in Edinburgh, East Lothian, Midlothian, Fife, Scottish Borders, and West Lothian, providing a network of interventions that target specific areas of intense need throughout South East Scotland.

The service takes a localised multi-agency, family focused approach to supporting families living in the grip of poverty, involving local and national third sector and statutory partners Children 1st, CHAI, Barnardo’s, Fife Gingerbread, Clued Up, CARF, FIRST, Scottish Borders Council and West Lothian Council.

Across the region, the service offers a combination of intensive, general and specialist supports tailored to the needs of the whole family within the context of their local community.

The service launched amidst the pandemic, providing a lifeline for families hit hardest by poverty, ensuring they were not pushed into deeper hardship. Families received support from multi-disciplinary teams including Family Wellbeing Workers, Welfare Advice Workers, Youth Workers and Employability Workers.

Despite the challenges of establishing a new service during the pandemic, the Intensive Family Support Service has supported 210 individuals since its inception, with 97 adults and 113 children and young people engaged with the service.

The service has secured positive results for families, with parents and young people successfully supported to engage in full and part time work and education, as well as gain new skills and qualifications.

In addition to that, Welfare Advice Workers have secured financial gains for families of £56,0000.00, helping to ease financial pressures and increase the amount of money families have in their pocket day-to-day.

A parent engaging in the service commented:

“Having a Family Support Worker is brilliant. I know I have them there when I need a chat or advice, and they are the only support I have.”

While the challenges of poverty are deep rooted and there are many barriers to overcome, The Intensive Family Support Service creates stability and confidence for parents/carers and young people to focus on their own aspirations and next steps through establishing trusted, supportive relationships between families and the workers that support them.

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