Wrexham’s AM, Lesley Griffiths, has described news that the town is to become a pilot area for a new scheme to help support vulnerable children and families, as a progressive and innovative policy development.
The AM was commenting following the announcement that Wrexham is set to receive £600,000 for each financial year over the next three years from the Welsh Assembly Government, to support the establishment of new groundbreaking multi-agency team in the area. The teams will bring together social workers, family workers, substance misuse professionals, nurses and health visitors, to work directly with families to protect and support vulnerable children.
Wrexham County Borough Council will join Newport City Council and consortia made up of Merthyr Tydfil County Borough Council and Rhondda Cynon Taff County Borough Council, to drive forward the development of the Integrated Family Support Teams (IFST) in their areas along with their Local Health Boards.
The new teams will become operational in spring 2010 with the aim of rolling out across Wales over the next five years.
Commenting on the pilot project, Lesley Griffiths AM said:
“I am delighted that Wrexham is one of the three areas which has been chosen as a pilot for this pioneering and innovative scheme. Wrexham already has a proven track record when it comes to multi-agency working, through the excellent ‘Team around the Child’ initiative operating out of the town’s Salvation Army’s Ark Community Centre. I am pleased therefore, that the Welsh Assembly Government have now recognised the benefits of this model of working, by backing this pilot scheme.
“I believe the pilot will offer a better way of co-ordinating support services for those children and families who have additional needs such as substance misuse problems, mental health needs, learning disabilities and domestic violence.
“The ethos and success of ‘Team around the Child’ was based on identifying problems as early as possible and I am pleased that the new Integrated Family Support Teams will also work on the same same basis.
“When it comes to helping and supporting vulnerable children and families, this kind of co-ordinated, multi-agency approach is how such services will be delivered in the future. It is exciting news that Wrexham is at the forefront of this new model by integrating NHS and council services. I wish this progressive pilot scheme well.”