Council to take part in expanded family support programme

Published on: Tuesday, 24-March-2015

Knowsley Council has been asked to take part in phase two of the Government’s national ‘Troubled Families Programme’.

The Stronger Families Programme is Knowsley’s response to the Troubled Families initiative which began in 2012.  Families receive support from a Stronger Families case manager who co-ordinates support from other agencies including the police, heath, schools, housing associations and the job centre to support families in the best way possible.  The team works to identify the underlying issues facing a family, develops a relationship with the family and offers consistency and support to build trust and help them take steps to change their lives. 

During phase one of the programme, the council and partners worked with and turned around more than 620 families from across the borough during the last three years.  These were families where children have not been attending school, who are involved in crime and anti-social behavior or where parents are not working.  Turning these families around means that all the children have been back in school for a year and youth crime and anti-social behavior has been significantly cut across the whole family or an adult has moved off benefits and into work. 

The national roll out of phase two of the programme commences next month and will potentially run for five years. During this time more than 1,900 families will be supported by the council and its partners to achieve better outcomes for themselves. The criteria for inclusion in the Stronger Families Programme has been widened which will mean more families will be eligible for the support.   

Since March 2012, £2 million has been invested in services that support families.  Over the next five years, the Stronger Families programme has the potential to bring more funding into the area which will be used to support families further. 

Councillor Jackie Harris, Cabinet Member for Community Safety and Social Inclusion, said “I am delighted with the work that has been done through the Stronger Families Programme.  Participating in phase two of the Government’s family support programme will make sure many more families are able to benefit from the support that is available.  Through the programme we have found that family focused and personalised support works – one size does not fit all.  Families can receive the support they need to make not only themselves a stronger unit, but also help to create stronger communities too.”

Councillor Gary See, Cabinet Member for Children and Family Services, added “All children deserve a good start in life and we realise that some families need a bit of extra help.  This is where the Stronger Families programme can help – offering targeted support which can make a real difference. The expansion of the programme means that more families in Knowsley will get the help they need to thrive.”