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Families First


In essence, Families First is an innovation programme that promotes the development by local authority areas of effective multi-agency systems and support, with a clear emphasis on prevention and early intervention for families, particularly those living in poverty.

Families First is a key response to the Welsh Government’s Child Poverty Strategy.
The strategy has three strategic objectives, and Families First is an important driver to achieving these objectives:

  1. reducing the numbers of families living in workless households;
  2. improving the skills of parents/carers and young people living in low-income households, so they can secure well-paid employment; and
  3. reducing inequalities that exist in health, education and economic outcomes for children and families by improving the outcomes of the poorest - with a focus on supporting families to achieve better outcomes for children.

We will make a significant contribution towards meeting the objectives of the Child Poverty Strategy by driving improvements to preventative and early interventions in family support, its structure, design and delivery. We aim to reduce the numbers of families developing more complex needs and requiring
more intensive and costly interventions. Specifically, we aim to:

• act as a spur to local area system redesign and implementation;
• improve and innovate universal and other services to lead to better, measurable outcomes for families, particularly those living in poverty;
• promote effectiveness, efficiency and improved long-term outcomes through an ‘invest to save’ approach, investing, particularly, in preventative and early intervention approaches;
• throughout the programme, encourage the development and sharing of learning about how best we can achieve the above and better support children and their families; and
• using evidence from the above, see an increasing mainstreaming of activity in order to provide greater stability and longer-term planning.

Families First must demonstrate that it can improve population outcomes in relation to tackling child poverty; as a result four national programme population outcomes have been identified:

  1. working age people in low income families gain, and progress within employment;
  2. children, young people and families, in or at risk of poverty, achieve their potential;
  3. children, young people and families are healthy, safe and enjoy well-being; and
  4. families are confident, nurturing, and resilient.

To develop an integrated approach to family support in Wales we think services, which must have regard to bilingual needs, need to be organised so that the support provided is:

• family-focused, taking a whole family approach to improving outcomes;
• bespoke, tailoring help to individual family circumstances;
• integrated, with effective co-ordination of planning and service provision across organisations, ensuring that needs assessment and delivery are jointly managed and that there is a seamless
progression for families between different interventions and programmes;
• pro-active, seeking early identification and appropriate intervention for families;
• intensive, with a vigorous approach and relentless focus, adapting to families’ changing circumstances; and
• local, identifying the needs of local communities and developing appropriate service delivery to fit those needs, with particular regard for the opportunities to link with, for example, the Flying Start and
Communities First programmes

What are the provisions in Gwynedd?

The Families First Commissioning Strategy was written following research through Torri’r Cylch, Cordis Bright and qualitative research with families.
The strategy highlights specific priorities for families in Gwynedd, and has been used as a starting point in the development of ‘Lots’ offered within the Families First Programme here in Gwynedd.
The programme has been split as follows:

• Gyda’n Gilydd – Team around the family
• Lot 1 – Supporting Gwynedd families by promoting positive parenting and strengthening family resilience
• Lot 2 – Supporting Gwynedd families by promoting financial literacy, information and supporting parents into work
• Lot 3 – Supporting Gwynedd families through play opportunities, sport and recreation
• Lot 4 – Supporting Gwynedd families through early years
• Promoting Voices

More information about the ‘Lots’ are available by following the links provided on the left side of this page.


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