27 November 2014

What works in Fife?

Tim Kendrick
Strategic Lead 
Fife What Works Scotland Area Case Study 

Since Fife was chosen as one of four case study areas for What Works Scotland, I've been working closely with Partnership colleagues to decide what our case study should focus on. In broad terms, we aim to look at how we can use local community planning to take forward effective preventative work with families and individuals. 

We're currently rolling out an ambitious programme of local community planning (LCP) across seven areas in Fife - with a focus on reducing inequalities and tackling poverty. These seven local community planning areas are coterminous with local service planning arrangements for Fife Council, Police Scotland, Scottish Fire and Rescue and Fife's integrated Health and Social Care Partnership.

At the same time, Fife Council is investing £7.8 million over three years to deliver a transformational change programme, the Family Nurture Approach, with the aim that all children in Fife get the best start in life.

When the invitation to become involved in What Works Scotland came along, we felt this would provide an excellent opportunity for community planning partners to look at how best we can join up local service delivery to break the cycle of disadvantage and low aspirations.

 As Fife is both large (population 367,000) and diverse, we decided to focus our work on a single area. We chose Kirkcaldy as it includes some of Fife’s most deprived datazones sitting alongside some of its most affluent areas. Kirkcaldy has already developed a local community plan with a clear focus on families, early years and young people.

 As this topic area is probably still too broad for an action research approach, we’ve decided to focus on three local case studies.

These are:
  1.  Preventative work in schools to promote positive outcomes for young people;
  2.  The development of family hubs in Linktown/Invertiel and Burntisland; and
  3.  Support for a community hub in Kirkcaldy to mitigate the impact of welfare reform on families and individuals. 
We're still working on the key questions we’d like to ask across the three initiatives, but the following broad questions were identified at the recent What Works Scotland planning event on 12th November:
  • What is needed for effective collaboration with individuals, families and communities? 
  • How do we work with individuals and families to identify where they want to get to, and how do we measure this? 
  • How can work carried out in local areas effectively inform work at a strategic level? 
Over the next few weeks we'll be doing more work to refine these questions and use these to help plan some key activities for each case study, with the aim of developing a work programme for 2016. It's still early days, but we've already formed an enthusiastic local project team. Drawn from a range of partner services and agencies, the team is keen to make the most of the opportunities provided by What Works Scotland to explore how we can effectively join up local service delivery to deliver the agreed outcomes. We're looking forward to working with What Works Scotland and partners across Scotland to take this work forward over the next year or so.

Watch this space!

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