What is the Stronger Families Programme?
The Stronger Families Programme aims to improve the lives of Knowsley families with multiple, high cost problems, transform local public services and reduce public costs.
It was created in response to the Government’s Troubled Families Programme, which was launched in 2012.
The £448m scheme was designed to encourage local authorities and their partners to turn around 120,000 troubled families across England by May 2015. This was known as phase 1 of the Programme.
In June 2013, the Government announced plans to expand the programme for a further five years from 2015 to 2020 to reach up to an additional 400,000 families. This is known as phase 2 of the programme, or the ‘Expanded Programme’.
Who are the families?
For a family to be eligible for the expanded programme, it must present at least two of the following six problems:
- Parents and children involved in crime or antisocial behaviour;
- Children who have not been attending school regularly;
- Children who need help;
- Adults out of work or at risk of financial exclusion and young people at risk of worklessness;
- Families affected by domestic violence and abuse; and/or
- Parents and children with a range of health problems
What support and services do families receive?
Every family included in the programme will have a lead practitioner/case manager from a relevant service. Their role will be to lead, with the family and partners, on a whole family assessment; develop a whole family plan, and to draw in relevant services and interventions in a ‘team around the family’ model.
The services that will co-ordinate the whole family assessment and plans are:
- Family First 0-18 Service (formerly Family First 0-11 and Stronger Families Service)
- Youth Offending Service (YOS); and
- Multi-Systemic Therapy Team, KMBC
Locally we expect to see a reduction in the number of households suffering from multiple and complex issues and, as a result, fewer families requiring costly reactive measures, leading to less pressured services.
Why do we collect information about families and how is it used?
To see whether families are eligible, personal information is shared between departments of the Council and between the Council and its partner organisations to understand which families have two or more of the issues listed above. Only the minimum necessary information is shared on a ‘need to know’ basis.
At a national level, the Department of Communities and Local Government (DCLG) has appointed the Office of National Statistics (ONS) to carry out national research to evaluate the effectiveness of this programme; to help improve the services your family receives and other families receive in future.
Personal information supplied by the Council about individual family members together with family progress data (sensitive family information about those problems mentioned earlier), is linked with personal/sensitive information held by national government departments and health agencies. This is called the National Impact Study (NIS). The national databases that are proposed to be used for data matching include the following:
- Police National Computer and Prisons Database
- National Pupil Database and Individualised Learner Record
- Work and Pensions Longitudinal Study
- Hospital Episodes Statistics
- Mental Health Minimum Dataset
- Improving Access to Psychological Therapies
- Maternity and Children’s Data Set (held by the Health and Social Care Information Centre)
- National Drug Treatment Monitoring System (held by Public Health England)
- Crime Mapping Database (held by National Crime Agency).
The research aims to compare the outcomes between those families engaged on the programme and those that are not. This will help see whether the programme changes lives for the better by, for example, reducing offending, truancy and getting people ready for work. This will also help inform improvements to the service over time.
Personal/sensitive information linked for research purposes at national level will:
- be anonymous;
- be kept securely and handled with care in accordance with the law; and
- not affect your benefits, services or treatments.
How do I know if my data is being used and can I access my data?
We have only included data of individuals who have consented to be included in this research. If you want to know if your data is being used please contact SFProgramme@knowsley.gov.uk or by phone on 0151 443 2456.
If you have changed your mind about your data being used you have the right to ‘opt-out’ of this research. This can be done by contacting us on SFProgramme@knowsley.gov.uk or by phone on 0151 443 2456.