New project helping Kirkcaldy families forge stronger relationships

Counsellor Stuart Watkins with one of the youngsters
Counsellor Stuart Watkins with one of the youngsters

A new project to help parents and children form stronger relationships and overcome challenges has secured almost £95,000 of funding over the next two years.

Connecting Families has been developed by the Cottage Family Centre to provide simultaneous counselling and therapeutic play for families facing chaotic and complex challenges in their lives.

It allows parents and children to address their underlying needs and often traumatic experiences which have had a detrimental effect on their ability to function fully by putting the relationship at the centre of the programme.

Michelle Graham, senior therapeutic co-ordinator at the Cottage, explained: “This funding from the National Lottery’s Improving Lives Fund is going to make a major difference to many families in Kirkcaldy.

“It will help us to help around 30 families a year, who will be referred to us through agencies such as social work, education, the police and voluntary organisations.

“There is a strict criteria to be met and it starts by the parent having a meeting with myself and Stuart Watkins, the adult counsellor to see if this programme is appropriate for them. If it is then the parent will start one to one sessions once a week for several weeks before the child starts separate sessions to address their issues.

“When they are ready and able, we will bring them together for an 8-12 week structured and family-focused intervention scheme, working on things like attachment, relationship goals and moving forward to help them work together to overcome obstacles and function as a family.

“And after that they will move on to Family Time, working together in family group sessions of between 6-10 families, doing things like arts and crafts, cooking, therapy dogs and things like that.

“As well as helping them to interact with others it helps them to make friends and build up social networks for support.

“We are trying to treat the root cause rather than the symptoms.”