What is Families First?

Families First is the “…key programme for designing better integrated support for families living in poverty.”  Welsh Government Child Poverty Strategy 2011

Keep an eye on 'Other useful information' below for latest developments.

Families First freephone helpline 0808 800 0038 or text 80800 starting your message with FamiliesFF

Read the latest edition of TheSprout's Families First newsletter.


Initial communication stated that Families First would be:
•    family focussed
•    bespoke
•    integrated
•    proactive
•    intensive
•    local


What is Families First about?

Families First is about changing the way we deliver services across the board - to ensure better outcomes for families. In Cardiff, this will entail considering new planning structures, resources and governance. Cardiff is moving forward with pioneer work adopting a consortium approach with Newport.
Families First is part of the development of a coherent and integrated ‘Think Family’ approach to services in Cardiff – it's not just about services funded with Families First funding. It will include:
•    Integrated Family Support Services/Teams
•    Flying Start
•    Communities First
•    Core services (for adults and children)


New ways of working will include:

•    Shared framework for referral and assessment
•    Team Around the Family (TAF) approach (that is, a whole family approach looking at the needs of children, young people, parents and carers).
•    Local identification of need – linked into Neighbourhood Management in Cardiff
•    Strategic approach to commissioning of services
•    Focus on families with a disabled child


Families First Action Plan

Cardiff’s Families First Action Plan (2012-13) was submitted to the Welsh Government at the end of October 2011, with a request that commissioning should be postponed until June 2012 rather than April 2012. This plan is a high level document and C3SC is advocating for wide consultation on fleshing out the details of the plan. You can download the action plan here.

The plan was required to be focussed on cross-boundary funding and working with the Vale of Glamorgan. The number of projects previously funded through Cymorth needs to be greatly reduced. The plan also ensures that future TAF (Team Around the Family) members connect with Cardiff’s Integrated Partnership Board and the What Matters strategy through Neighbourhood Management Teams.



•    Working age people in low income families gain, and progress within, employment.
•    Children, young people and families, in or at risk of poverty, achieve their potential.
•    Children, young people and families are healthy, safe and enjoy well-being.
•    Families are confident, nurturing, and resilient.


Elements of Work:

•    Families First and System Change.
•    Vulnerable Families; addressing issues affecting disabled children and young people.
•    Vulnerable Families: targeted support.
•    Information and advice.
•    Youth participation and attainment.
•    Emotional and mental health.
•    Neighbourhood working and Families First pilots.
•    Healthy lifestyles.


Families First Commissioning

The commissioning process for Families First in Cardiff is currently underway with six packages being commissioned:

-       Early Years

-       Child and Youth Engagement

-       Healthy Lifestyles

-       Sustainable Employment

-       Disability Focus

-       Emotional and Mental Health and Well-being

Updates regarding the commissioning process and timescales involved can be found in our Families First Document Library.

Families First Pilot Work

Families First pilots are moving forward in the East (Rumney area) and West (Ely area) of Cardiff.  Third Sector partners are leading both pilots and further partners from within the sector have been involved as the pilots have moved forward.
C3SC ran a Third Sector Rumney Families First Reference Panel to sit alongside, and feed into, the steering group for the East of Cardiff and is currently looking into potential benefits of a continuing Reference Group for the pilot.


Families First Phase II Pioneer Project

The Families First Pioneer work is the result of a consortium with Newport having been created, and also a successful bid to the Welsh Government. The pioneer work will focus on system change, developing new ways of working as part of integrated partnership and consortium, and putting the framework into place. The pioneer will aim to develop framework tools and processes; develop an area-based, multi-agency model for referral, assessment/engagement and response; review the information and communication needs of children, young people and families; and to identify the training needs of stakeholders.

Other useful information