The role of family centres in reducing social isolation in deprived communities

Fiona Mercer*, Chris Darbyshire, Janet Finlayson, Martin Kettle, Adele Dickson

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)
77 Downloads (Pure)


Social exclusion and isolation are worldwide social and health concerns with negative effects becoming exacerbated in deprived communities. There is limited understanding related to the role of community‐based centres in reducing social exclusion and isolation, so the aim of this research was to explore the role one family centre had in improving social inclusion in a deprived community in Glasgow, Scotland. Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis was utilized to analyse interviews from 10 parents to explore their lived experiences of creating and developing social networks through family centre attendance. Findings indicate that attending the family centre positively impacted on social inclusion and social support for all parents interviewed. Relationships created in the centre were proposed as being meaningful, non‐judgemental and produced social capital—rooted in reciprocity and trust. Findings can inform services that aim to reduce social isolation in deprived communities.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)674-682
Number of pages9
JournalChild and Family Social Work
Issue number3
Early online date23 Feb 2020
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2020


  • family centre
  • interpretative phenomenological analysis
  • social exclusion
  • social isolation
  • social networks


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