Agenda Item No

The Vale of Glamorgan Council


Cabinet Meeting: 8th April 2013


Report of the Leader


External Funding: Families First


Purpose of the Report

1.         To inform Cabinet of Welsh Government grant allocated to support the delivery of Families First Plan in the Vale of Glamorgan. 


1.         That the Council continue to act as lead body for the Families First grant available to the Children and Young People's Partnership

2.         That Cabinet notes and supports the utilisation of the Families First grant.

3.         That authority be given to the Head of Legal Services to negotiate and execute appropriate contractual arrangements with delivery partners to ensure the provision of the Families First Plan.

4.         That the employment of appropriate personnel takes place in accordance with the Council's approved recruitment and selection policy to ensure the delivery of the Families First Plan.  

Reasons for the Recommendations

1.         To ensure Cabinet is aware of the continuing financial and legal responsibilities undertaken by the Council as grant recipient body on behalf of the Children and Young People's Partnership    

2.         To ensure Cabinet is aware of, and supports, how grant received via the Children & Young People's Partnership is being used to deliver Families First in the Vale of Glamorgan.

3.         To obtain the authority of Cabinet to the entering into of appropriate contractual arrangements with delivery partners in furtherance of the Families First Plan.

4.         To apprise Cabinet of the recruitment necessary to achieve delivery of the Families First Plan.      


2.         The Families First Plan has emerged out of the "Cymorth - Children and Youth Support Fund" and become more focussed on a support network of provision and services fitted to a team around the family approach.

3.         Families First funds the co-ordination and support of services, the provision of a dedicated family support service (key workers) and a raft of bespoke support projects that support the long term aims. Cabinet endorsed the Council act as lead body for the Families First grant on behalf of the Children & Young People's Partnership and the proposed utilisation of the grant on 29th February 2012 (Min 1630).

4.         The Cabinet report detailed the provision of a network of targeted support at tier 2 for children, young people and families within a framework of support provision, in order to improve the life chances of children and young people from disadvantaged families. Nine distinct projects exist under the current Families First Plan. One will cease based on Welsh Government guidance, a further two projects are being incorporated into current existing projects and all will remain centrally coordinated.          

Relevant Issues and Options

5.         The focus of the funding is to build on the newly established Families First Plan. Children, young people and/or families will be referred through a central formal referral system to a team that will work with all those within the family requiring support mirroring the team around the child approach.

6.         It is proposed the funding continue to be utilised to deliver the following projects:

·               Raising awareness of welfare rights - to be externally commissioned;

·               Family support programme - internally commissioned and delivered via Flying Start;

·               Disability Focus - internally and externally commissioned;

·               Partnership for Young Parents (to be expanded) - internally commissioned (Social Services);

·               Putting Families First - Internally commissioned (Education);

·               Young people support programme - internally commissioned (Education);

·               Young carers - externally commissioned.

7.         The following two new projects to be funded from April 2013:

·               C-Card scheme (to be incorporated as part of an existing project). Internally commissioned (Education). Awaiting Welsh Government approval.       

·               Family mentoring and volunteering (to be incorporated as part of an existing project). Internally and externally commissioned (Education).

Resource Implications (Financial and Employment)

8.         A Families First Plan and spreadsheet for the Vale of Glamorgan covering the period 1st April 2012 - 31st March 2017 has been approved by Welsh Government on the basis the Council will receive a grant of £1,483,024 for 2012/13 and £1,534,990 each year covering the financial years 2013/14 until 2016/17.

Sustainability and Climate Change Implications

9.         Individual contracted Families First projects will be required to have their own exit strategies. All Families First projects will be stringently monitored and evaluated so that opportunities to build upon and sustain the initiatives can be identified.

10.      Families First is established and dependant on continued Welsh Government funding. The exit strategy will be the cessation of individual project/s should funding reduce/cease. In the longer term it is envisaged by Welsh Government that consideration will be given to mainstreaming successful elements.    

Legal Implications (to Include Human Rights Implications)

11.      Contracts/service level agreements would be in place with providers delivering Families First which set out clear roles, responsibilities and targets for the delivery of activities.

Crime and Disorder Implications

12.      The funding would support a range of projects which will support families and children, which will have a positive impact on factors influencing crime and disorder.  

Equal Opportunities Implications (to include Welsh Language issues)

13.      The funding will address the needs of a variety of disadvantaged individuals including carers, disabled children and families. 

Corporate/Service Objectives

14.      The funding will address corporate objective 10 to 'ensure children and young people are not disadvantaged by poverty'.   

Policy Framework and Budget

15.      This is a matter for executive decision.

Consultation (including Ward Member Consultation)

16.      The Business Planning Group of the Children and Young Peoples Partnership allocated the available Families First grant in line with the priorities of the Community Strategy and WG grant criteria. The Business Planning Group comprises of officers, representatives from a range of public bodies and the voluntary sector. Executive consultation took place to produce the Community Strategy, involved relevant departments/partners, children and young people and elected members.      

Relevant Scrutiny Committee

17.      All Committees

Background Papers

External Funding proforma: Families First 


Contact Officer

Mike Jones, Business Manager (Partnerships)

Officers Consulted

Mark Davies, Children & Young People's Partnership Manager

Carolyn Michael, Senior Group Accountant

Operational Manager, Legal Services


Responsible Officer:

Huw Isaac, Head of Performance & Development