The Integrated Family Support Service (IFSS) is a national initiative across Wales, aimed at families where child protection concerns have been triggered by substance misuse concerns.
The service built on the work of the award-winning Option 2 family intervention in Cardiff, and IFSS takes Motivational Interviewing and strengths based working as a core principle of evidence based effective practice in achieving sustainable outcomes.
Wider workforce: The supportive environment
For the core IFSS intervention to flourish, Welsh Government asked each IFSS area to develop a wider workforce development plan to train multi agency groups in core aspects of Motivational Interviewing. Delivering training to the wider workforce provided a core platform of skills, values and vocabulary around change which would ensure that that every family in need was met with the same initial response from professionals, regardless of whichever service door they walk through.
In early 2012 the Mid and West Wales IFSS Consortium (covering 4 local authorities and 2 local health boards) began to offer IFSS to families and the Mid Wales Consortium wished to accelerate the roll out of their programme of workforce development as part of their engagement and implementation plans.
Ignition was commissioned to work alongside the all-Wales IFSS Lead Trainers to deliver additional one-day modules of core skills, Enhancing Motivation for Behaviour Change in Families, across Carmarthenshire, Ceredigion, Pembrokeshire and Powys, a large geographical area.
The training was successfully delivered against a demanding timetable between January and April 2012, to several hundred staff from a number of agencies, at multiple sites. Following initial positive evaluation results, the contract was later expanded to include the delivery of Module 2: Working with Resistance.
Anna Bird, Head of Partnership Development for Hywel Dda University Health Board and Regional Business Co-ordinator for the Mid and West Wales IFSS Consortium commented: "Commissioning additional module delivery from Ignition, to work alongside the All-Wales Lead Trainers, was an essential part of the Consortium strategy to embed the culture of strengths based working with professionals who work with vulnerable families. The Consortium were in the early stages of Team development and didn’t have sufficient capacity in our own Teams to lead the training ourselves. Ignition were recommended by and able to work closely with the all-Wales Lead Trainers to ensure consistency of delivery of the IFSS programme materials and provided significant additional capacity to support roll-out of IFSS in our area."