Working together on a new approach to tackling poverty and disadvantage in Kirkcaldy

Kirkcaldy Area Committee this week approved a year-long pilot project to help individuals and families affected by poverty.

It comes on that back of the approach taken at the start of the Covid-19 pandemic where the council and voluntary organisations pulled together to help vulnerable households.

Staff from Housing, Communities and Neighbourhoods and community based Social Work are coming together as part of a new team to offer a more joined-up package of support for those affected by poverty or facing crises in their lives, with the aim of preventing homelessness, providing practical support to manage debt and helping people make sustainable improvements in their lives. Over time, links will be made with employability services and voluntary sector agencies working in the Kirkcaldy area.

A person-centred approach will be taken to decide the most appropriate help needed and any plans to tackle problems will be drawn up in consultation with those seeking assistance, and the level of support offered will be tailored to them A case worker will act as a single point of contact, removing some of the difficulties that can exist when navigating different services to find the right help.

Neil Crooks, Convenor of the Kirkcaldy Area Committee said: “This has the potential to make a real difference to people lives in the Kirkcaldy area. It’s an opportunity to work collaboratively with local families to tackle poverty and inequality and help them secure a better future. The focus will be on the person or family and helping them all work towards self-reliance so they can make informed decisions about their future for themselves.

“We’ve learned a lot during the pandemic. The council and partners worked well together and formed multi-disciplinary teams to manage the requests for help we received. This work builds on that approach, puts people first and is a great way ahead.”

The project will begin in July and run until June 2022, with a progress report being made in March. If the approach proves successful it could be rolled out to other areas towards the end of the year.

The full report is available at: https://www.fife.gov.uk/__data/assets/pdf_file/0030/229980/Kirkcaldy-Area-Agenda.pdf