Supporting troubled families
Wednesday 27 February 2013
Hampshire County Council has appointed a consortium of specialist national and local organisations to deliver an Intensive Family Support Service as part of its three year Supporting Troubled Families programme.
This follows an extensive procurement process involving a wide range of local voluntary organisations.
The consortium comprising Barnardo's, Family Lives, Motiv8 and Step-by-Step has a proven track record of working with children and families in Hampshire and will provide targeted support to some 500 families by 2015.
Beginning in April, the support will be aimed at improving children's school attendance, cutting anti-social behaviour and supporting adults into work.
While the package of support will differ from family to family according to their needs, measures could include visits from a key worker to deliver crucial parenting support, helping families establish daily routines which ensure children attend school regularly, while helping parents get back into work, and enabling families to manage their household budgets more effectively.
The service will also help to better coordinate the existing services families receive, ensuring a more consistent and effective service focused on the whole family not just individual family members.
The Supporting Troubled Families programme in Hampshire is a significant three year programme bringing together representatives from 11 district and borough councils, the County Council, police, prison and probation services, youth offending teams, health services, the fire and rescue service, the voluntary sector and the Department for Work and Pensions.
The programme is targeting more than 1,600 families across Hampshire over the next three years Some of the families will have multiple problems which may include adults out of work, family members involved in crime and anti-social behaviour, issues with substance misuse, and children not attending school regularly, incurring high costs to the taxpayer.
The County Council is chairing the partnership programme, through the Executive Member for Communities, Cllr Keith Mans.
Commenting Councillor Mans said: 'The Intensive Family Support Service will target key problems such as anti-social behaviour, truancy, repeat offending and long term unemployment. It is about working intensively with families to get them back on their feet, helping them establish structures and routines to turn their lives around and break cycles of deprivation and dependency.
"We are extremely pleased to be working with a mix of well established local and national voluntary sector providers, who we believe can successfully engage with these families and work with them and our public sector partners in new ways to deliver real lasting positive changes to their lives.
"The work will be challenging, but the benefits potentially significant, not only for individual families but for the wider community as families will be less dependent on public services and benefits and will be making a positive contribution to community life.'
Michelle Lee-Izu, Director, Barnardo's South-East, said: 'Barnardo's is delighted to have been selected by Hampshire County Council to work in partnership with the Council and partner agencies so that together we can make a real difference to families and the communities that we will be a part of.
'We are confident that by working as a consortium and with our partners, we will be able to empower vulnerable groups in society, enabling them to make a step change in their lives. Our focus is to deliver the service in a co-ordinated, family centred and evidence based way.
'We have no doubt that this individual approach and unique partnership will deliver truly positive results, enhancing many people's lives in the area as well as working to assist local organisations to grow."