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DISC’s Family Support Service waves a little magic across Salford
DISC celebrated its Family Support Service in Salford with an event showcasing to both commissioners and agency professionals the work that goes on within their family intervention project.
“We can’t wave a magic wand over our families, there’s no quick fixes, we’re in it for the long haul” said Julie Lord, the family projects manager. “We really get to know our families to assess their needs and help support them to make life improvements for the whole family”
Lesley Cavender DISC’s deputy Chief Executive began the day with an overview of DISC and how the Salford Family Support service fits into our work across the North, supporting people to achieve their potential.
“It is a particularly interesting time to be re-launching an intensive family intervention project here in Salford. The government is taking an active interest in families that they perceive to be both troubled and expensive. It is DISC’s experience that families with multiple and complex problems can with the right support and specialist help make real progress in changing their lives. Salford continues to invest heavily in its families through Sure Start Children’s centres and Early Intervention programmes. We are proud to be part of that wider network of services”
Our staff do a fantastic job working alongside families, helping them to sort out some of the basic routines and jobs that make functional family life possible. Setting boundaries, putting good meals on the table and getting children to school on time are just some of things we help parents with. Some people need specialist psychological or medical assistance and we’re here to help ensure that they get it.
The project supports families to function as a family, encouraging them to eat together and in some cases applying for funding to enable them to go on a short holiday. Some families have never been away on holiday and in some cases children have never visited a beach. We apply for clothing, bedding and baby equipment from Wood ST mission in Manchester and they also provide food and presents at Christmas time. Support workers recycle clothes and toys to support families we are working with. Support Workers also help families de-clutter and clean their homes to improve health and hygiene conditions, as well as working with families to tidy and clear the outside of their property and encourage them to engage in gardening.
Debt and poverty is an issue for concern for nearly all of the families we work with, in the short term we try to ensure they maximise and manage their income. We all know that long term change is much more likely if people get good permanent employment. Without an investment in education and training from both the individual and the public purse it is unlikely that this will happen. Many of our families have decided that the world of education and work is profoundly difficult and so it is easier for them to plan for life without them, we hope to help turn this around by providing education and training support.
We are aware that Salford alongside the rest of the UK is suffering the effects of a recession, long term de-industrialisation and structural unemployment the light can seem at the end of rather a long tunnel. It is really important that we work towards people living fulfilled lives in their families and communities. If people feel valued, if they can see the contribution that they are making in their communities and for their families, this can become a stepping stone to having the confidence to look for work.
In the last quarter 95% of families referred to us are now fully engaged with our service and making changes to their lifestyles with our support.
“We focus on the best interest and needs of a family and the family itself plays a key role in the planning and delivery of our service” adds Julie. “We look forward to playing a key part in finding solutions for Salford and its families alongside our partners.”
For more information about this service please contact us:
DISC Salford Family Support Project
120 Gt Clowes Street
Tel: 0161 793 3632