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Children and Families (Wales) Measure 2010

Section 58: Functions of integrated family support teams

119.Section 58 sets out what an IFST does. The IFST’s function is to deal with family cases where the needs of adults in relation to alcohol or drugs, domestic violence, mental health or learning disability are linked to adverse consequences for the children of those adults. The teams will bring together professionals from the local authority and Local Health Board involved to address both adults’ and childrens’ issues within a single organisation.

120.Under subsection (2) the Welsh Ministers may prescribe in regulations functions of local authorities and Local Health Boards which are relevant to the types of cases which will be dealt with by the teams. These functions are defined in the Measure as “family support functions” and the local authority is to identify the family support functions which are to be carried out by an IFST. This assigning of functions will require the consent of the Local Health Board. The IFST is not a separate legal person; it is a vehicle established by the local authority with the participation of the Local Health Board within which each of those bodies will carry out particular functions collaboratively.

121.Subsection (5) makes clear that referrals to an IFST will come from the local authority.

122.Subsection (6) and (7) set out the types of case which can be referred to an IFST. These are families where a “parent” (as defined) has one of a number of specified difficulties and a child of that parent is either a “child in need” (as defined) or a “looked after child” (as defined). The provisions include a parent of an unborn child and also allow for referral of other individuals connected with the child.

123.Subsection (9) gives a team a specific duty to evaluate and record the effectiveness of its work. Subsection (11) specifies that the carrying out of local authority functions and the carrying out of Local Health Board functions remains the liability of those bodies.  Subsection (12) makes clear that any functions assigned to the team are not wholly transferred to it but will continue to be exercised by the local authority or local health board in relation to those who are not, or cannot be referred to an IFST.

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Explanatory Notes

Text created by the Welsh Assembly Government department responsible for the subject matter of the Measure to explain what the Measure sets out to achieve and to make the Measure accessible to readers who are not legally qualified. Explanatory Notes accompany all Measures of the National Assembly for Wales.


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