Some of Fife’s most vulnerable families will be helped to break the cycle of chronic worklessess and poverty, thanks to an ambitious new project.
Leading charities will team up with Fife Council and researchers from Edinburgh University to provide intensive support to entire family groups.
The Making It Work for Families project will focus on people who have an S1 or S2 pupil living at home and attending Levenmouth Academy or Viewforth High School in Kirkcaldy.
All will be facing multiple barriers to finding work, such as substance addiction, mental ill-health and difficult relationships.
The project will initially focus on helping lone parents and low-income households to overcome the barriers and provide a better environment for their young people.
They will be given support to create stability, help to access training or employment and advice on welfare and income maximisation.
It is hoped the approach will result in better opportunities for every member of the household.
Sarah Galey-Horn, from Edinburgh University, said building relationships could reduce vulnerabilities related to poverty.
“This approach will help us identify practices that facilitate trusting, supportive relationships with families,” she said.
Lone parent charity Fife Gingerbread will help deliver the project, along with young people’s substance use support service Clued Up, Citizens Advice and Rights Fife and Fife Intensive Rehabilitation and Substance Misuse Team.
It follows a funding boost from the Edinburgh and South East Scotland City Deal.
Rona Hunter, chief executive of Edinburgh-based charity Capital City Partnership, said: “The intensive family support service within the Edinburgh City Deal is a great opportunity to bring together a wealth of expertise and approaches to improve the lives and opportunities for a number of families.
“It establishes how we can make a difference in the long term to bring about sustainable change.
“I’m looking forward to seeing the project develop and for further knowledge to emerge so we can continue to improve pathways out of poverty and inequality.”
Fife Council co-leaders David Ross (Labour) and David Alexander (SNP) said the project was at the heart of what the council was trying to achieve through the city deal.
“It provides the opportunity for us to invest in a project that genuinely promotes inclusive growth, supports families to flourish and to progress out of poverty,” Mr Ross said.