Information for Professionals

Families Working Together and Troubled Families Programme

What is the Troubled Families Programme?

The Prime Minister has promised to ‘turn around’ the lives of 120,000 Troubled Families across the country by the end of this Parliament in 2015. He has instructed the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) to achieve this objective.

A Troubled Families Unit has been created within DCLG to oversee the programme.

The Troubled Families Unit expects Lincolnshire to identify, engage with and ‘turn around’ 1370 families by March 2015. Lincolnshire will receive funding of up to £4,000 for each family, subject to a payment-by-results scheme.

Troubled families are defined as households who:
1. Are involved in crime and/or anti-social behaviour;
2. Have children not in school;
3. Have an adult who is claiming out of work benefits;
4. Cause high costs to the public purse.

How are we responding in Lincolnshire?

Families Working Together is at the heart of Lincolnshire’s response to the Government’s Troubled Families Programme. Lincolnshire has decided to retain the Families Working Together name and its ethos to deliver the programme of support.

So when you hear us talking about Families Working Together, we’re talking about Lincolnshire’s response to the Troubled Families Programme. We hope you’ll agree that using the Families Working Together name is far more appealing when we’re all trying to engage with families.

The team is expanding through the secondment of Key Workers from partner agencies such as Lincolnshire Police, District Councils and Lincolnshire Youth Offending Service, along with an enhanced line management structure.

What do Families Working Together do?

Families Working Together already offer a long-term, intensive support programme to whole families in Lincolnshire. We take a family-centric view to address the issues people face. This helps to co-ordinate services on behalf of the family as well as offering practical tools, establishing routines, setting boundaries, money management etc., which enables families to achieve their outcomes.

The project has demonstrated that through improvements in family functioning, we can achieve above-national-average success in areas such as: supporting families to address issues around crime and anti-social behaviour, non-attendance at school, and access to education, training and employment.

How can you help?

We have now identified more than half of the families we are required to support using data received from partner agencies.

We now need the expertise of colleagues engaged with families and individuals to tell us more about their needs as part of a Preliminary Assessment.

Families Working Together are stepping up their efforts to gather information on how we can best support families in Lincolnshire. Key professional contacts involved with families will be contacted, through appropriate channels, to request assistance in gathering such information and introducing the service to families where it is appropriate to do so. Your assistance in responding to any request in a timely fashion is appreciated.

What happens next?

Families Working Together will follow up the requests with Key Professional Contacts in order for the service to complete the preliminary assessment of the family’s needs. That way, we can ensure the right support is put in place to help families ‘turn around’ their lives.

We know some families may already have achieved this goal thanks to your involvement. Where appropriate, Lincolnshire may still be able to claim a success and a results payment.
Families Working Together will work with professionals in such circumstances to evidence the outcomes achieved.

Of course, we also know that some families might be getting the right support and sufficient assistance already from you and other colleagues. In such circumstances, Families Working Together may simply ask you to keep us informed of your progress towards turning those families around and achieving their objectives.

This will ensure Lincolnshire is able to maximise the results payments available and to continue to channel existing budgets effectively.

Where appropriate, Families Working Together will allocate a Key Worker to work with the family over a long period of time to address issues of family functioning, crime and anti-social behaviour, non-attendance at school and worklessness.

How else can I get involved?

We know our data may suffer from delays in reporting incidents, both in the community and in schools, which link families to the criteria indicated above. If you know of families who may be involved in at least two of:

  • Youth crime and/or anti-social behaviour;
  • Non-attendance at school;
  • Claiming out of work benefits

Then you may wish to telephone Families Working Together on 01522 552078 for assistance in completing the Referral Form.  If you have all the information to hand and prefer to complete the form yourself, you can download a printable version.  The form should provide information on how to complete and where to return it to.

We can then make sure the family is given the right support to tackle those issues.

For more information on Families Working Together, and how we can all help work with families, please see the “Guide for Professionals”.

Source: Electric Egg

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Last updated: 30 October 2015

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