Changes to the services delivered from Alloa Family Centre were agreed at Council today.
The centre provides a range of services to meet the needs of families with children aged 0-8 years. In recent years the focus has been refined to ensure services are targeted to those who are most in need and vulnerable including those who are affected by family substance misuse, domestic violence, poverty and parental mental health issues.
These latest developments are a progression of the previous changes and are in line with the Council's wider moves to a cluster/hub model of service delivery and follow a period of consultation with service users.
Alloa Family Centre's outreach service delivers a range of parenting supports including baby massage groups, parent and toddlers, young parents groups, Mellow Parenting, practical cookery groups as well as working with the integrated mental health service on Living Life to the Full groups, building self esteem and stress management. The service also recently undertook successful work with Polmont YOI to look at parenting the impact of being a parent on young dads.
All groups run by Alloa Family Centre and parenting programmes are designed to help parents identify positive ways of dealing with challenging situations and behaviours.
The outreach service also works to support parents in their homes through a range of work including practical supports for managing children's behaviour in the home, home safety, the skills required to run a family home, including cooking skills and budgeting. The service works closely with a range of partners in health including speech and language therapy and clinical psychology services, housing support, integrated mental health, money advice, education and the third sector.
The Alloa Family Centre also provides an assessment and contact service working with families in an intensive and highly focussed way. The assessment part of this service is targeted at families who require very specific intensive interventions to support parenting capacity assessments, linked to permanence planning and are often referred for this service by the Courts or the Children's Hearing System. The service also covers the increasing number of supervised contacts, which are also often at the direction of the Courts of the Children's Hearing System.
The contact service is used on a daily basis, including the weekends. The Family Centre has been the venue of over 2000 supervised family contacts in the last year and is the main family contact centre in Clackmannanshire.
Supervised contacts happen in an appropriate/safe/child/family friendly environment which this building provides.
Alloa Family Centre currently provides a day care service to children who do not access their own local nursery. Due to the considerable expansion and investment in the last two years in early learning and childcare across Clackmannanshire, the number of children using the day care service at Alloa Family Centre has decreased significantly. Staff will move to local nurseries to allow childcare and family support to continue, but at their local nursery rather than at the Family Centre.
Social Services Spokesman Councillor Graham Watt said: "It is important that children have access to nurseries in their local community wherever possible. We now have capacity in our nurseries for all the children currently being provided with day care at Alloa Family Centre. This change will mean families will access our nurseries, allowing us to expand the range of parenting support services we provide at Alloa Family Centre for the families who need this."