Families First was originally established through the St Andrews Baptist Church in December 2001. Members of the church had noticed that families in the local area needed some extra help and support during challenging times. In the beginning, Families First delivered its services to children and young people from primary schools in the catchment area of Madras College. For 19 years we were known as Families First St Andrews (FFSA), but we now cover north east Fife and are more commonly known as Families First (FF).
Over the years we have developed our range of services and support which has benefitted many children and their families throughout north east Fife. Families First is very proud of the Christian values and beliefs on which we were founded. These values, shared by many people of other beliefs, provide the basis of our work with service users, their families, and the communities we work in. We value the contribution of everyone who has a role with Families First whether directly with service users or indirectly through fundraising, administration and transport. Everything we do is influenced by a core set of values:
Demand for our services and the support offered by Families First has continued to increase year on year as the organisation has become more widely known and respected in north east Fife and beyond. We continue to develop and meet the needs of the community through local partnership working, reviews, regular internal and external meetings, networking, research and development, by having an open door policy and listening to the people we support. Today we offer our services to children and young people aged 5-16 years, living in north east Fife. We follow guidance from Fife Council legislation, UNCRC and Getting it Right for Every Child (GIRFEC).
We work with children who have various learning disabilities, social and emotional challenges, mental health issues, caring responsibilities, being looked after away from their family, low self-esteem, medical problems, and come from low-income families. Isolation can be a significant challenge to the children and young people we work with not only due to their personal circumstances but also because of the rural locations we serve.
In June 2016 we were honoured to receive The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service – an MBE for voluntary sector organisations.