19 Smith's Place
Edinburgh, EH6 8NU
Polish Family Support Centre
Sort code: 80-11-00
Account number: 00398105
The Family Support project works with Polish children, young people and families, providing tailored packages of support to combat disadvantage, social isolation and improve community cohesion for newly settled families.
The project aims to help the social and emotional development of disadvantaged Polish children and young people, and to provide a comprehensive level of family support to parents bringing up children, in order to enhance family life. The project utilises professionals who have a knowledge and understanding of the issues faced by families who have moved to another country. Services are accessible and culturally sensitive.
The project has a particular focus on disadvantaged, newly settled Polish families. The project includes: advice and drop-in service; psychological consultations and assessment; support groups and befriending.
Our main project activities include:
Welfare Rights Officer advice and support. We provide confidential advice and information to clients on a wide range of issues. General advice covering: benefit schemes, financial topic, welfare, education, housing, debt and employment. Advice is provided face-to-face, by telephone and email services. This services will indirectly impact youth and children, as parents will be able to provide financial stability and peace of mind for a healthy family life. Also the support and advice will improve people’s confidence and encourage to become more independent.
In general we:
•Explain benefit rules and who can claim
•checking clients are claiming all the benefits they can
•helping people fill in forms to apply for benefits, tax or pension credits, translate letters and help in writing CV’s and appeals, making phone calls.
•linking with benefits agencies and others for the client’s benefit
•advice on financial savings and planning
•signpost and refer on to other services in Edinburgh
•keeping confidential records
•Keeping up to date with relevant laws and welfare reforms.
Family and individual counselling sessions. This involves face to face work, initial meeting, where beneficiary fills in a short questionnaire about his/her personal information. The main aim of the psychological consultations are to improve the family life, to improve parents and children’s confidence, self-esteem and overall wellbeing and to provide parents with appropriate tools when dealing with their children to improve the family cohesion and relations.
The initial interview enables to get to know the client and identify problems that he/she would like to cope with and solve. Based on the information provided, the worker estimates whether counselling should be long term or short term, also identifies main problem that needs to be focused on, an initial hypothesis about the depth of the problem is set and determination of expected results. After the first meeting, the progress of the client is monitored and follow up sessions are set.
Support groups and individual consultations.
Support groups in the local schools for youth: St Augustine’s School, Trinity Academy and Leith Academy. Also groups and consultations for parents and children at the PFSC office. Workshops and support groups for parents
We ensure that Polish minority ethnic is taking all the steps needed to improve their life for better. Poles are often coming to Scotland to search for better life to seek financial stability and family cohesion. However, our experience shows that Poles are struggling to find the right path when moving to an estranged country and to settle in. Therefore we believe that our package of support and comprehensive approach provides them with what they need, which is security, understanding, empathy and help. Our services not only support and help them but also change their circumstances and improve mental wellbeing, giving Poles an opportunity to change their life. Psychological support will give Poles a lasting change and the advocacy services will change people’s long term circumstances while living in Scotland e.g. finding a suitable flat, opening up a bank account, translations, making phone calls, applying for benefits etc.