Building Successful Families programme

We are a part of the national Supporting Families programme, which helps vulnerable families develop their resilience against complex needs. We support families in making significant and sustained progress towards improving their life outcomes. 

Building Successful Families is part of the way our Early Help services support families, and it is mostly delivered by our Multi-Agency Support Teams and our Family Hubs.

What Building Successful Families will offer

 Families that need support will receive:

  • an assessment that considers the needs and voice of the whole family
  • an action plan that takes into account all relevant family members
  • a lead practitioner who is recognised by the family and other professionals involved with the family


As part of the national programme, Local Authorities receive Payment by Results funding to support in delivering their Early Help Services. Sheffield achieved Earned Autonomy status in 2018 in recognition of the maturity of its Early Help system.

Earned Autonomy provides upfront funding to enhance wider system transformation.  
We are provided with an annual quota of families who we need to work with to support in achieving significant and sustained success. The current phase of the programme (2022 - 2025) has identified that we need to support 3,812 families.

Since 2012, Sheffield has worked with 14,291 children, 11,162 adults and supported 7,282 families to achieve successful outcomes. 

What do we want to achieve

The Supporting Families Early Help System Guide outlines a vision for a mature Early Help system, which is shared nationally. 

If we are successful, we will see:

  • an increase in the number of families accessing provision in Family Hubs
  • an increase in the percentage of children meeting the key developmental milestones at their 2-year review
  • an increase in parents trained in evidence-based parenting programmes 
  • an increase in the number of families satisfied with the support they receive
  • an increase in the number of families making progress against the goals in their multi-agency Early Help plan
  • improved school attendance
  • a reduction in the number of requests for Education Health Care needs assessment 
  • a reduction in permanent exclusions
  • a reduction in the number of open Child Protection plans 
  • a reduction in re-referrals to children’s social care within 12 months of a multi-agency plan being closed
  • a reduction in first time entrants to the Youth Justice System 

We will complete an annual Early Help System Guide Self-Assessment with partners to evaluate the maturity of our system. 

How to be eligible for the programme

The national Supporting Families Outcomes Framework came into effect on 3 October 2022. It has ten outcomes: 

  • getting a good education
  • good early years development
  • improved mental and physical health
  • promoting recovery and reducing harm from substance use
  • improved family relationships
  • children safe from abuse and exploitation
  • crime prevention and tackling crime
  • safe from domestic abuse
  • secure housing
  • financial stability

These outcomes are strength based, and for a family to be eligible they need to evidence that they meet 3 of the descriptors in order to engage with the programme.

These descriptors are outlined in Annex A: National Supporting Families Outcome Framework.

We check family outcomes after closure to track whether this progress is sustained.

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