National praise for Lancashire's success in helping families
Wednesday, June 10, 2020
Lancashire County Council has received national recognition for its success in helping children get a better start in life by supporting families in difficulty.
New figures show that the county council's Children and Family Wellbeing service and its partners has helped more families than any other council in the north west through the government's Troubled Families programme.
The recently published annual report shows that Lancashire is leading the way with 8,620 families helped from 2015 to 2020. This will result in improved outcomes for 19,632 children in Lancashire.
The scheme targets families with multiple and complex social and health issues, including involvement in crime, anti-social behaviour, truancy, unemployment, mental health needs and domestic abuse. An aim of the programme is to support family needs at an early stage, and to prevent any issues from getting worse.
As a result of its success, the county council will receive an extra £15.5m of extra funding allowing the work to continue for another year.
County Councillor Phillippa Williamson, cabinet member for children, young people and schools, said: "This is an outstanding achievement by the county council and our colleagues at the Department of Work and Pensions. I would like to congratulate them on this great work.
"The Troubled Families initiative is a multi-agency approach which simplifies and focuses support on families, helping them to take greater control over changing their circumstances for the benefit of their children. Our approach is not an easy option for the families – it offers a lot in terms of support, guidance and access to services - but it also requires a commitment from the families to work with their lead professional and other workers, and to agree a plan.
"This result is all the more pleasing because these families are facing the most complex difficulties, and therefore this work makes the biggest difference.
"The family know that one person can deal with any issue on their behalf without having to go through all the background again. Each family has one person to build a good relationship with, and we actively involve them in planning what services they need. Our service is much more effective because we work with the family from the start.
"The success of the programme has not just resulted in financial benefits, but also changed the way services and partners work when supporting families as every successful outcome represents a family’s life changed for the better. The team should be proud of the enormous difference they have made to so many children."
County Councillor Shaun Turner, cabinet member for health and wellbeing for Lancashire County Council, said: "I would also like to thank the families in Lancashire we have worked with to achieve such positive results. Their commitment to tackling the difficulties they face, and a truly innovative approach by agencies working closely together has proved to be a winning combination.
"I am really delighted for our staff, and for colleagues at the Department of Work and Pensions, our partner in this initiative, on this achievement. I'm well aware of the effort and dedication that has gone in to making this scheme such a success, for the benefit of the families that are involved.
"However, we still have much to do and we will make sure that we keep the momentum throughout the rest of the programme."