An investment of £2.64 million has been agreed to support some of the most vulnerable families in Hampshire.
At his Decision Day (22 September 2016), the County Council’s Executive Lead Member for Children’s Services, Councillor Keith Mans, agreed the funding to continue to commission locally based providers to deliver extended support to families, across the county, from April 2017 to March 2020.
The funding – derived from the ring fenced central government (Department for Communities and Local Government) grant of £5.51 million to support the Troubled Families initiative – will help to maintain, the Programme’s support to those families in need of more targeted and concentrated intervention by a dedicated key worker, on a daily basis if required.
Councillor Mans commented: “I fully support this approach. By commissioning locally based specialists to deliver support and intervention, we can be sure we are focusing resources where they are most needed and doing all we can to get the best results.
“It is a more targeted way of spending, prioritising those in most need. Indeed, this will do much to complement the County Council’s support for vulnerable families through its new, Family Support Service to which the Supporting Troubled Families Programme is aligned.”
An independent, academic evaluation of Hampshire’ Supporting Troubled Families Programme, by the University of Portsmouth, found that it is: ‘promoting positive change in professional practice with families’.
Councillor Mans added: “I have been encouraged by the independent evaluation of our Programme, that both highlights and emphasises its success. We know that one year on, after completing the Programme, four out of five families supported, between 2012 and 2015, have improved school attendance for their children; reduced school exclusions; less youth offending/anti social behaviour; and are remaining in work or training and no longer claiming an out of work benefit.”
The Supporting Troubled Families Programme was launched nationally in 2012 following a Government led commitment to ‘turn around’ the lives of 120,000 vulnerable and disadvantaged families.
In Hampshire the Programme is steered by the County Council and involves a wide range of other agencies: Hampshire Constabulary, Hampshire Fire & Rescue, the Probation Service, the NHS, district and borough councils, as well as voluntary and community organisations.