Stronger Families Phase 2: A new programme

The National Programme

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In April 2012, the Government launched the Troubled Families Programme (known locally as Stronger Families) a £448 million scheme to incentivise local authorities and their partners to turn around the lives of 120,000 troubled families by May 2015.This was known as phase 1 of the Programme.

In June 2013, the Government announced plans to expand the Troubled Families Programme for a further five years from 2015/16 and to reach up to an additional 400,000 families across England. The National roll out of the new programme begins in April 2015. This will be called Stronger Families 2 in Trafford.

Who are the families?

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The programme aims, to improve the lives of families with multiple, high cost problems, transform local public services and reduce costs to the public purse in the long-term. Families are identified through the merging of many data sets and to be eligible for the expanded programme a family must have 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
  • parents and children with a range of health problems.

Families are prioritised for inclusion in the programme on the basis of the following:

  • They are families with multiple problems who are most likely to benefit from an integrated, whole-family approach; and
  • They are families who are the highest cost to the public purse.

How do services support the families?

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Every identified family will have an identified lead practitioner/keyworker from a relevant service, whose role will be to lead on a whole family assessment, develop with the family and partners a whole family plan and draw in relevant services and interventions in a team around the whole family model.

In addition to this Family Progress Data across 58 areas of family life is collated at the start, during and post intervention. A random sample of families will also have cost benefit analysis undertaken to evidence savings made in relation to the whole family.

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 and less pressured services.

Why are Stronger Family Referrals important?

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Trafford Council and its Partners are dedicated to working with all Stronger Families in the Borough. Although we have a process in place for identifying Trafford's Stronger Families we recognise that much of the knowledge and insight of Trafford's Families lies out in the field with yourselves. In addition to this, family circumstances can change at a quick pace, and we want to make sure that we work with all families who meet the Stronger Family criteria, both now and in the future

How can you refer a family?

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If you identify a family who you think meets the criteria for a Stronger Family, you can access the referral form. Once completed the document needs to be emailed securely, or an alternative method used such as directly on the Family CAF system for those with access, via post or the phone. The form allows you to check whether the family meets the Stronger Family criteria and where appropriate, you can then submit the form to one of the Stronger Family Performance Officers to be double checked. Submission can be made either by:

  • Email (for Trafford Council staff only) strongerfamilies@trafford.gov.uk
  • For externals agencies with 'secure email' only shaun.simmons@trafford.gcsx.gov.uk
  • For those without secure email, via post: Stronger Families Referral, Performance Team, Town Hall, Talbot Road, M32 0TH
  • Directly onto the Family CAF (for those with access) via telephone 0161 912 3131, where a member of staff will fill in the form on your behalf.

Will you accept referrals where families do not meet the criteria but we know have complex needs?

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Unfortunately no.

Referrals to the Stronger Families Performance Team must meet the set criteria which can be seen on the referral form. If you want to refer a family which does not meet the Stronger Families criteria, but you think there are safeguarding issues, this would have to be done through existing channels via the MARAT Team at marat@trafford.gov.uk  and any in other cases a CAF should be completed. Further to this if a referral for a Stronger Family is submitted and after further checks, it is identified that the family does not meet the Stronger Families criteria, then this referral will be returned to the person/agency that originally submitted it and a CAF will need to be completed.

Privacy Notice - Stronger Families in Trafford

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Stronger Families is the Council’s response to the Government’s national programme  https://www.gov.uk/government/news/troubled-families-programme-expanded-to-help-younger-children  aimed at improving the lives of families struggling to cope and in supporting them to play a stable role in their own communities.    

The Council and its partner organisations are working closely together. This will make it possible for the Council to:

  • identify families who are eligible for help and support
  • ensure services across a range of organisations are coordinated and focussed on families with the most pressing and complex needs
  • participate in local and national research to assess how well the programme is working in delivering better long term outcomes for families and in making services more effective 

About Stronger Families

Families with a range of problems often struggle to get the right help and support at the right time. To address this, the Council is working across organisational boundaries with partner organisations to ensure that families receive coordinated help and support when it is most needed.  

For this reason, the Council with the help of its partner organisations are identifying families experiencing at least two of the issues listed below so that early help can be offered to those with the most pressing needs:

  • Parents or children involved in crime or anti-social behaviour.
  • Children who have not been attending school regularly.
  • Children who need help: children of all ages, who need help, are identified as in need or are subject to a Child Protection Plan.
  • Adults out of work or at risk of financial exclusion or young people at risk of worklessness.
  • Families affected by domestic violence and abuse.
  • Parents or children with a range of health problems.

How we assess which families are eligible

To proactively assess those eligible, personal information is shared between departments of the Council and between the Council and its partner organisations to understand which families experience two or more of the issues listed earlier. In additiondepartments of the Council and/or our partner organisations directly refer families who will benefit from coordinated support.   

Only the minimum necessary information is shared on a ‘need to know’ basis.  

Partner organisations working with The Council

NHS;  Fire Service; Probation Service; Police;Trafford Housing Trust; Irwell Valley; Your Housing; Great Places; Schools; Job Centre; Citizen Advice Bureau ; Phoenix futures; Big Life Families; BlueSCI; Mentors for young people; Adult courses – Community Development Initiative; G4S ESF Family Support Programme;  Inspire 2 Independence; Women’s Aid.

At the time of referral those families with the most pressing needs will be asked to join the programme.

National and local research

In addition to the sharing between Council departments and partner organisations described above, personal information will be used to evaluate how successful and effective the programme is at both local and national level. This is the case whether or not a family has been asked to join the programme.

National research

At national level, the Department of Communities and Local Government (DCLG) has commissioned the Office of National Statistics (ONS) to undertake national research to evaluate the effectiveness of this programme. Local authorities and national government departments are being asked to contribute to this research study.

This means that basic personal information supplied by the Council about individual family members (such as name, address, date of birth and sex) together with family level information about those issues listed earlier, is to be linked with personal information held by national government departments.

This research aims to compare the outcomes between those families engaged on the programme and those who are not. This will determine whether this new way of working 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 information linked for research purposes at national level will:

  • be de-identified after it has been linked so as to limit any chance of families and individuals being re-identified;
  • be kept securely to prevent any unauthorised use;
  • not be used for making decisions about families or individuals;
  • not be shared back with the local authority;
  • be destroyed once the research project is concluded;     

The national departments and datasets involved in this research are

The Council will only receive information about the local authority results of this national research in anonymised form and any reports published by the Department of Communities and Local Government (DCLG) will ensure that families and individuals are not identifiable.

Local Research

If the Council alone or with other Councils in Greater Manchester decides it is necessary to supplement the above national research and this involves personal information, this will be carried out in line with the safeguards listed above.      

Statistical analysis may also be undertaken from time to time using only anonymised information.

General information

The Council shares your personal information only for the reasons set out above, unless the law requires or permits us to share it for another reason, or for example, this is necessary to protect you or others from harm.  

Your personal information will be handled securely, strictly on a need to know basis only by those specifically authorised to do so and will not be kept longer than is necessary. 

Your rights

You have the right to ask the Council for personal information held about you and details of how to do this can be found https://www.trafford.gov.uk/residents/contacts/secure/data-protection.aspx

You may also ask the Council to consider any objections you may have to the processing of your personal information, including processing for research purposes.

For more details about your rights and whether you and/or your family are eligible for Stronger Families contact Strongerfamilies@trafford.gov.uk.

Changes to this Privacy Notice

Trafford Council may amend this Privacy Notice from time to time. If we make any substantial changes in the way we use your personal information we will make that information available by amending this notice.