New service offers vital support for vulnerable parents

VULNERABLE parents in Llanelli can access vital support to make positive lifestyle changes for their children.

The Integrated Family Support Service (IFSS) was officially launched by Gwenda Thomas, Deputy Minister for Children and Social Services, on Thursday at Parc y Scarlets.

The service, based at the former Morfa Primary School, will see a team of health and social workers helping families to tackle multiple problems, in particular those who suffer from drug and alcohol misuse.

Phil Pike, integrated family support team and reducing harm manager, said: “Our aim is to support families to stay together by empowering them to take positive steps to improve their lives.

“The service is very much family focused and will help us improve services by working together across agencies to better support the family as a whole.

“We will provide intensive support to those affected by parental substance misuse by focusing on the strengths within families and deliver the service around their availability and needs.”

IFSS is being delivered in partnership by Hywel Dda and Powys Teaching health boards with Carmarthenshire, Ceredigion, Pembrokeshire and Powys councils, and will result in £250,000 being invested in Carmarthenshire each year.

Gwenda Thomas described the launch as “an important step on the journey towards more sustainable services in Wales”.


“IFSS is starting to make a difference in the areas in which it is already operating,” she said.

“Families are feeling confident about engaging with the service, and find the help of skilled professionals hugely beneficial to their motivation to change.”

The team, made up of a consultant social worker, two senior social work practitioners, two health intervention specialists and a second probation, will work alongside Flying Start and the Reducing Harm Project.

Caroline Oakley, Hywel Dda’s lead director for children and young people, said: “Families with complex problems have an increased likelihood that the child’s physical, social and emotional development will be impaired and for some children there will be repeated or long-term episodes of being looked after by the local authority.

“The introduction of the support service will ensure stronger joint working between local government and health board services to ensure the needs of children are considered by adult services and vice-versa.”