Family Support is defined as both a style of work and a set of activities that reinforce positive informal social networks through integrated programmes. These programmes combine statutory, voluntary, community and private services and are generally provided to families within their own homes and communities. The primary focus of these services is on early intervention aiming to promote and protect the health, wellbeing and rights of all children, young people and their families. At the same time particular attention is given to those who are vulnerable and at risk.
In 2011, the National Forum of Family Resource Centres and the Family Support Agency agreed a working definition of community-based family support as ‘supporting families and individuals in communities to identify their family and local needs to collectively develop holistic responses and enhance participation in wider community life. Six core elements of community-based family support accompanied this definition. These comprised: participation, equality, awareness raising, early intervention, strengths based and advocacy.
Every three years each Family Resource Centre reflect on the work they have completed and plan for the next three years ahead. To assist this process a template is provided by the Strategic Framework for Family Support within the Family and Community Services Resource Centre Programme adopted by the Family Support Agency in September 2011. This Strategic Framework aligns the programme with national policy concerning the provision of support to families. Furthermore, it reflects the recognition expressed in national policy of the importance of delivering services in and through communities.
The Report of the Task Force on the Child and Family Support Agency (2012) dedicates the Child and Family Support Agency to the achievement of 5 National Outcomes for Children. Following publication of the Report of the Task Force, the Family and Community Services Resource Centre Programme updated its Strategic Framework to confirm these 5 Outcomes, as they relate to children, families and the broader community.
This planning template requires all Family Resource Centres to explicitly link each of their Project Outcomes to one or more of the 5 National Programme Outcomes.
Dunmanway Family Resource Centre have just completed their 3 year Workplan (see link above) and we look forward to strengthening links between local groups, families and individuals. We aim to continue to provide and develop services to Dunmanway and the surrounding area.