Supporting troubled families
Wedneday, 24 October 2012
A new multi-agency partnership is gearing up to start on a coordinated and tailored programme of support with Hampshire families to improve children's school attendance, cut anti-social behaviour and help support adults into work.
Hampshire County Council's Cabinet will be asked to approve the strategy and funding approach for the three-year Supporting Troubled Families Programme when it meets on 29 October.
The programme, which will work with more than 500 families in the first year and just under 1,600 families overall, is supported by Government funding of up to £5.3m of which 40% can only be claimed if successful outcomes are delivered.
Hampshire County Council has additionally committed just under £1m to the programme - on top of the significant resource it already provides through existing Family Intervention Programmes. Funding from Hampshire Constabulary, and, in time, from partners, will be made available to enhance the impact of the programme.
Building on existing support
The programme will build on the partners' existing work to engage families who need early help to avoid escalating problems, benefiting both the families and their communities, as well as avoiding significant costs to public funds in the longer term.
This will be achieved through:
- New models of working with families with greater inter-agency coordination and support to whole families.
- A clear emphasis on early help and preventative work, enabling families to break cycles of worklessness, poverty and social exclusion.
The County Council is chairing the partnership, through the Executive Member for Communities Cllr Keith Mans. Partners involved are the 11 District and Borough Councils, Hampshire Children's Trust, Hampshire Youth Offending Teams, Hampshire Constabulary, NHS Hampshire (including the new Clinical Commissioning Groups), Public Health, the Department for Work and Pensions, Hampshire Probation Trust, Hampshire Voluntary Alliance, HM Prison Service and Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service.
Local knowledge for local solutions
Multi agency 'Local Coordination Groups' based on District Council boundaries will also use local knowledge to inform the design and delivery of the programme at a local level. These groups will identify and engage with local partners such as the voluntary sector and key primary and secondary schools.
The statutory agencies will work alongside voluntary and community organisations providing tailored help to enable families to gain skills and qualifications and to participate in opportunities which will improve their health, wellbeing and employment prospects. Problems such as anti-social behaviour, truancy and repeat offending will be tackled.
Commenting Hampshire County Council Leader Councillor Ken Thornber, said:
"This will be challenging work and it is crucial we have the right strategy in place so that the programme brings long-term benefits not only to the families with which the partners will work but also for the wider community.
"Supporting families where adults are out of work and dependent on benefits, where children are not in school and where members of the family are involved in crime and anti-social behaviour or facing other challenges such as recovering from addiction, will not only improve the prospects of those families but also ensure they can make a positive contribution to the communities in which they live.
"We want the lasting legacy of this to be enhanced, coordinated working which ensures all agencies can build upon their existing work to develop sustainable solutions which survive long after the three year programme has ended, breaking what is often a cycle of dependency on state support and intervention and entrenched cycles of deprivation."