In Bradford our work is having a positive impact on families across West Yorkshire.
The Families First programme is funded by Bradford Council under the Government’s Troubled Families Programme and is devised and delivered by our youth workers at our Bradford Centre. The programme provides families with a dedicated key worker who puts the family’s needs first and offers consistent and ongoing support.
Families benefitting from the programme may face any number of social and domestic issues including violence and other forms of abuse, poor attendance at school, mental health issues, unemployment, child sexual exploitation and anti-social behaviour.
Kirrin, who is based at our Bradford centre and has worked with several families on the programme, says that Families First is succeeding largely because families are assigned their own key worker: ‘Often when families come to us they have been in trouble for some time and may lack trust in anyone trying to help them, especially if they’ve experienced being passed around from agency to agency. At Brathay we turn this around by providing them with their own dedicated key worker whose role it is to find out what it is worrying a family and what needs to be done to alleviate the anxiety. It means we can develop meaningful relationships from a place of safety and trust.’
A living example of this is Kirrin’s work with mother Julie and her daughter Francesca. They were referred to the programme by the Police after Francesca had been violent towards her mum.
I can’t thank Kirrin and Families First enough for the support they’ve given us. Francesca’s behaviour changed for the better at home and she got back on track at school. It saved us as a family.
At first I was nervous and stubborn and didn’t want to talk to anyone but I got along with Kirrin straight away and I realised she only wanted to help. She was genuine and kind and I could trust her. I wasn't embarrassed and I felt comfortable asking for advice and help.