About the Supporting Troubled Families Programme
Trying to deal with more than one problem at a time, can make it difficult for families to get the right help and support. Although each family is different, many have issues relating to:
- Crime and anti-social behaviour
- Education, children not in school
- Worklessness, adults on out-of-work benefits
- Young people not in employment, education of training
- Problems with drugs and/or alcohol
- Physical or mental health problems
- Domestic violence and abuse
- Families at risk of homelessness or unmanaged debts
- Young children failing to thrive
- Unhealthy weight and/or malnutrition concerns
Many families tell us that they know help is available, but trying to get the right help, from the right organisation, at the right time, is not always easy.
Supporting Families in Hampshire is a new way of doing things – providing extra practical help early on to stop problems getting worse.
We ask families about the things that are important to them, about the things that might help, and what we can do differently to support them.
This is how we start working together to get things back on track.
What help is available?
It will vary from family to family, and will depend on the sort of support you need. Some families may need help with, for example, getting children going to school regularly and help with finding work. Others may have family members involved in crime, or with addiction problems. Some may have all of these and more.
What’s different about this?
Supporting Families is about working with the whole family, not just the children, or a single family member. Each family will have a main point of contact who they get to know, who will help co-ordinate support services with them, and who they can contact when they want to talk about things, or need further help. We will also work with you to put together a single family plan for help and support.
What’s in it for my family?
When we talk to families, most say they want support and encouragement. They want to be listened to, have their needs understood, have people do what they say they are going to and to get back to them, and services that work for, and not against them.
The aim is not just to fix problems, but to help you discover and develop your abilities, and become more independent.
This is what we hope you will get from being involved in Supporting Families.
How long does the help last for?
We would expect to be working with you for anything from a few months, to a year and beyond.
What happens if I don’t want to take part?
You don’t have to take part, but we would really like you to join the programme which can help you to deal with a range of difficult issues - from truancy, unemployment and offending, as well as difficult behaviour/relationships, housing, alcohol/drugs and budgeting. The programme can help if you are facing threat of eviction, prosecution if your children are not going to school regularly, or court action for anti social behaviour or offending.
What happens next?
If you and your family want to know more, we will arrange a meeting with you and start work on building your family plan together. Once you’re happy with the plan, you sign it, then we sign it, and we will look at it regularly together to make sure that you’re getting the help and support you need.
In order to identify and support families experiencing complex difficulties, Hampshire County Council departments and partner organisations in Hampshire will be sharing relevant personal information with each other. This is so we can work together in a joined up way to help each family.
The information that will be shared will be information about school attendance and exclusion, crime, anti-social behaviour, domestic violence, adults out of work, health problems and children receiving social care services. This information will be used in accordance with the Data Protection Act 1998 and other relevant legislation. Information will be held securely and will only be used and shared on a strict need to know basis with limited partners in Hampshire, for the purpose of identifying, supporting and evaluating the families with the most need. Personal information gathered for the Troubled Families programme will be deleted when it is no longer needed for the programme. Families identified to receive targeted support will be contacted and individuals will be asked to consent to their information being shared.
Government Evaluation and Research
Central government wants to understand whether the Troubled Families Programme has been effective in helping families turn their lives around and whether it is a good use of public money as well as to improve the service over time. Hampshire is required as part of the scheme to share the personal information of individuals and families (such as names and dates of birth) who have been assessed as meeting criteria for the programme and those who have participated in the programme with the Department of Communities and Local Government who will link this with other information routinely collected by other government departments.
Prior to sharing information for Government evaluation and research a Data Sharing Agreements will be in place to ensure that:
- The data can only be used for carrying out research and evaluation;
- The linked information is pseudo anonymised to reduce the risk of individuals being identified;
- It will not be possible for any person or family to be identified from any published reports;
- The linked personal information will not be shared with or made available to the local authority or any other public agency;
- All information is transferred, handled and stored in accordance with the Data Protection Act;
- Appropriate measures are in place to prevent unauthorised use of information;
- The information is securely destroyed after use.
For more information please contact the Supporting Troubled Families Central Support team at firstname.lastname@example.org