The Family Wellbeing service is run by the charity Stepping Stones for Families (SSfF), funded by Glasgow’s Health and Social Care Partnership (HSCP) and the council’s Education Early Years’ department. It targets families on the edge of crisis, focussing on supporting parents so that they, in turn, are better able to support their children. Independent evaluation of the service has shown it to be extremely effective in improving outcomes for both parents and children.
The partnership is well-established with Glasgow City Council’s (GCC’s) Early Years’ service, and means that SSfF can run their parent support service directly from council-run nurseries. The benefit to both partners is that SSfF can increase their reach to engage more families with young children without setting up more projects (which cost money in overheads, premises and so on); whilst GCC Early Years’ receives a high-calibre service from an organisation with a track record of quality service delivery. It is cost-effective for all, and brings benefits to parents across the region.
The service has now delivered Family Wellbeing in eight GCC nurseries over about seven years. It was originally funded by GCC in only one nursery, but the charity wanted to expand to other nurseries in the area, so sought and successfully gained five-year funding from the National Lottery Communities Fund. That funding has now ended, but, having seen the value of the service, GCC has stepped in to fill the gap – the service is now funded by the HSCP and Education Early Years, ensuring support for families in all areas continues.
This has been a slow process, with over ten years of good work from SSfF bringing them to this point, with a key officer within GCC’s Early Years’ service recognising the potential of the original one-nursery project, playing a supportive role in SFfF’s efforts to expand Family Wellbeing. Not only that, but GCC has expressed public support for the service, asking SSfF to present multiple times at summits and conferences on quality service provision and improving engagement between the voluntary and statutory sector.
SSfF hope the funding they have received from the GCC so far will be continued through commissioning in 2020-23, leading to sustained support for families at the edge of crisis.