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Supporting Stronger Families

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  1. How we identify Supporting Stronger Families
  2. How do we support families and professionals?

The national ‘Supporting Families’ programme, known locally as ‘Supporting Stronger Families (SSF)’ programme, is about transforming the lives of vulnerable families who need statutory or Early Help Support. The programme is about the identification of vulnerable families and the delivery of appropriate services to meet their needs. It is important that all services working with families, identify those who meet the national criteria at the right time.

The Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities defines early help as the total support that improves a family’s resilience and outcomes or reduces the chance of a problem getting worse.

Supporting vulnerable families to thrive remains at the centre of Supporting Families. Every family should be empowered to build their resilience and connections to their communities over time. Receiving this right support at the right time will help avoid poor outcomes.

 Family together

How we identify Supporting Stronger Families

To be eligible, each family must meet at least two of the following six criteria:

  1. Staying safe in the community: Parents or children involved in crime or anti-social behaviour.
  2. Getting a good education and skills for life: Children who have not been attending school regularly
  3. Improving children’s life chances: children who need additional support, from the earliest years to adulthood.
  4. Improving living standards: families experiencing or at risk of worklessness, homelessness or financial difficulties.
  5. Staying safe in relationship: families affected by domestic abuse.
  6. Living well, improving physical and mental health and wellbeing: Parents and children with a range of health needs.

Once a family has been identified as eligible, the following criteria also need to be met, in order for families to be attached to the programme:

  1.  There will have been a ‘Whole Family’ assessment that takes into account the needs of the whole family;
  2. There is a ‘Whole Family Action Plan’ that takes into account the needs of all (relevant) family members;
  3. There is a ‘Lead Practitioner’ for the family that is recognised by the family and other professionals involved with the family;

How do we support families and professionals?

Support for Families

We support the Council to ensure that families get opportunities to give feedback about the services that they receive.

Feedback: To improve early help service locally and borough wide, we give families an opportunity to voice their experience through feedback in a variety of ways, including via mobile text link or on the website as well as forms. It’s important that we get families views/voices so that we can continually improve our practice and service.   

      Adult education

Employment/Progress to work: Supporting Families Employment Advisers (SFEAs) are here to support you and your family overcome barriers to work and prepare you to be job ready.  Our aim is to help you discover, develop, and reach your goals. The support is tailored to your needs and what you want to achieve. We can support you the following: 

  • Careers advice and guidance
  • Work focused or sector lead training
  • ICT skills/email
  • CV
  • Interview skills or job searching                                     
  • Better off work calculations                                           
  • Motivational training such as Confidence Building

For employment and progress to work cases please refer to the online enquiry form or contact Early Help Hub on 0207 364 5006 Option 2.

Support for Professionals  

We have a presentation that we can deliver to professionals and teams. From the presentation, we encourage discussions relating to the importance of whole family working that in turn leads to ‘Whole Family Assessments’ and ‘Whole Family Action plans’, thus highlighting the importance of having a ‘Lead Professional’ to support families.

Through working in a ‘Whole family’ way this can support the early identification of needs, increase positive family outcomes, reduce escalation of needs and reduce the percentage of families meeting the threshold for Social Care intervention.