The National Troubled Families Programme is an ambitious 5 year programme (2015-20) that aims to help Local Authorities support families who have complex needs to make significant and sustainable change that improves their lives.
In Sheffield, this is called the Building Successful Families Programme (BSF). It is part of the way our Early Help services support families and is primarily delivered by our Multi-Agency Support Teams (MASTs). However, meeting the criteria for the programme doesn't mean families receive a different service: families that need support will be supported the same way regardless of their needs.
This means that all families needing support will have:
- a whole family keyworker
- a whole family action plan
- a whole family assessment
- a whole family review process
Families must be experiencing at least 2 Headline Problems in order for us to consider to be working with them under the BSF Programme. These Headline Problems are how the National Programme defines overarching 'baskets' of indicators that suggest areas of need and support. They are a way of grouping issues into overarching themes.
The Headline Problems are:
- Crime or Anti-Social Behaviour
- Child who needs help
- Financial Exclusion and Homelessness
- Domestic Violence and Abuse
Our Troubled Families Outcome Plan goes into more detail about what these Headline Problems really look like for families in Sheffield.
How we will measure success
The Troubled Families Programme uses Payment by Results to provide Local Authorities with funding to deliver their Early Help services. We have been asked to work with at least 5,360 families by 2020 in this way. We can also receive Payment by Results funding for success for that many families.
Families will be supported to achieve significant changes in their lifestyles and circumstances and monitored via data reporting to track whether or not this progress is sustained. Additionally, if we support a family member to go into work and come off out of work benefits, then this can also be classed as a successful claim.
Each case is given 2 'windows' in which to see Significant and Sustained Success:
- the initial window, which begins in the same quarter as the case closes and lasts 6 months
- the subsequent window, which begins in the quarter after the case closes and lasts 6 months (all success criteria must align at point of declaration of success)
If successful we will see families who are:
- more resilient to deal with crises (fewer referrals to key agencies)
- better able to retain tenancies (fewer evictions and house moves)
- able to acknowledge importance of and engage with the early years and education system (increase in attendance, reduction in exclusions, children who are school ready)
- able to engage in employment (reduction in out of work benefit costs)
- better neighbours and community citizens (reduction in low level ASB/crime)
- able to act appropriately to ensure their own safety and that of children living with them (increase in appropriate reporting of Domestic Violence/Abuse)
Ultimately we will see children, young people and families who have stable home environments, are healthy, safe from harm and have aspirations for their future.
Up until the end of March 2017, we had made 1,128 Payment by Results claims and worked with at least 2,990 families.
We are committed to delivering excellent services and commission evaluations to help us to do this. Ecorys was commissioned by us in April 2014 to evaluate our Building Successful Families Programme.