Due to Eid-ul-Fitr celebrations, some of our centres will be closed 9 and 10 April 2024

These centres will remain open over Eid

  • John Smith Family Hub – 020 7364 0537
  • Isle of Dogs Family Hub – 020 7364 1179
  • Overland Children and Family Centre – 020 7364 1925
  • Meath Gardens Children and Family Centre – 020 7364 0349

All family centres will be open as normal from 11 April 2024

We apologise for any inconvenience caused

Supporting Stronger Families


  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)’, 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 our programme. 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.

How we identify Supporting Stronger Families

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

  1. Staying safe in the community: Parent/carers 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 early years to adulthood.
  4. Improving living standards: Families experiencing or at risk of worklessness, homelessness or financial difficulties.
  5. Staying safe in relationships: Families affected by domestic abuse.
  6. Living well, improving physical and mental health and wellbeing: Parents/carers and children with a range of health needs.

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

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

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

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 with the following:  

  • Careers advice and guidance 

  • Work focused or sector lead training 

  • ICT skills 

  • CV building 

  • 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 the Early Help Hub on 020 7364 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.