Troubled Families Programme
In December 2010, the Prime Minister stated his commitment to turn around the lives of 120,000 of the country’s most troubled families by the end of his parliament and, as part of this, the Government set out a vision about what needs to change in these households: getting children into school; cutting crime and anti-social behaviour; and putting adults on the path to work. To deliver this, the Government pledged to invest £448m in the Troubled Families programme.
Successive administrations have acknowledged that there is a group of families across the country who both cause and experience multiple and complex problems, resulting in disproportionate expenses to the public purse. This places an unacceptable burden on social care, criminal justice, housing, health, and education budgets.
The initiative has been delivered locally in collaboration with District Councils, providing a significant opportunity for Somerset to improve the lives of these families and to review the approach to be taken in regard to promoting effective multi-agency support for early intervention and prevention.
Over 2012-15, children’s services in Somerset were expected to work with 870 families. Each year a target of 33% was expected to be achieved. Success of working with a family is measured by the team ‘attachment’. The attachment criteria are where it can be shown:
- The family is identified and their eligibility for the programme confirmed;
- That someone is actively working with the family;
- There has been a triage of assessment of need;
- There is an outline plan in place to work differently with the family;
- We can show how agencies across the public sector can work differently with the whole family.
As of February 2015:-
- In its Family Focus programme, Somerset worked with all 870 families that were identified.
- All 870 families had been officially turned around, combining all crime/anti social behaviour/education results and all continuous employment results since the start of the programme.
- In addition, 64 of the families had achieved progress to work outcomes as defined by the financial framework of 2012.
Data for all Local Authorities are available from the DCLG website.
The Troubled Families programme was expanded from April 2015. The number of qualifying criteria increased to include domestic abuse, physical health problems and children who need help.
Since 1st April 2015, Troubled Families is no longer a stand-alone programme. It is part of Somerset's broader 'getset' service, providing early help and support for children, young people and their families in the county.
In 2015/16, Troubled Families identifies Somerset as having 2,790 families that have three or more of the eligible areas of need.