Supporting troubled families - stronger families programme

Content owner : Last updated : 03/08/15

What was the need and how was it identified?

In 2011 plans were introduced to shake up local services as part of the Government's efforts to turn around the lives of 120,000 most troubled families. These families make up less than one per cent of the population, yet are costing the economy over 8 billion a year. The programme is aimed at families involved in crime, anti-social behaviour, poor school attendance, drugs, alcohol, mental illness and unemployment.

In 2014 KNH made a bid to Kirklees Council's Stronger Families programme obtaining funding to employ two key workers and one consultant to work within KNH, providing early intervention and support using a whole family approach. These families have a number of vulnerabilities and experienced previous unsuccessful attempts to address issues.

What difference has the project made?

According to the council, the programme is "testament to the quality and tenacity of the family intervention workers and shows what effective multi agency working can achieve, right across the spectrum from early intervention, social work and youth services, schools, NHS services and voluntary sector providers. Key partner agencies are seeing the benefits of adopting a whole family approach to their work with their most vulnerable clients."

'The Stronger Families Programme' in Kirklees has:

  • supported 1115 families
  • 977 (88%) have been turned around, meaning school attendance has significantly improved and no youth crime or anti-social behaviour in the past six months.
  • 109 families are better off through getting a job or making positive progress to find work.

Since March 2014, the key workers within KNH have worked intensively with 32 families. They have also providing support, advice for other services and KNH colleagues and provided additional short term intervention with families.

What outcomes were achieved?

For families

  • Improved home and health conditions
  • Improved school attendance
  • Increased opportunity for families to transfer due debt management or additional information for Officer Review Panel
  • Support accessing volunteering, employment and training
  • Funding to access development opportunities
  • Access additional specialist services and programmes:
    • Safer Healthier Homes
    • Family Group Conferencing
    • Headstart
    • Parenting
  • Offer of support to families as part of ASB interventions


  • A halt to repossession proceedings due rent arrears
  • Reduction in debt due to reviews of rechargeable repairs
  • Assisting Housing Officers investigation non occupation of property

What factors were keys to the success of the project?

There has been a significant improvement in joint working resulting in increased sharing of intelligence about families, accessing services, and gaining the families` trust and securing their engagement. The Stronger Families Team engaged in an intensive training programme, sharing of ideas and utilised their personal knowledge and skills from their own service areas to support families.

This was a whole family approach with one point of contact to co-ordinate other services taking account of each and every family member.

Assessments and plans put in place and success measured around families finding their own solutions to problems from a starting point of building on their strengths.

What will happen next?

Kirklees council have been invited to join the expanded Troubled Families Programme and therefore funding will enabled us to continue with the employment of the KNH Stronger Family team until 2016. The next phase of the programme has extended the criteria, which will enable us to carry out more early intervention and prevention work with a wider range of families.

Homefit officers will continue to help customers find new homes in partnership with our financial inclusion team and external support agencies. Officers will continue to work closely with the council's adaptations service to ensure that people are matched quickly and receive all the support they need

What objectives does the project contribute to?

Kirklees Council - To build the resilience of individuals to create safe, vibrant and healthy communities


  • Challenge poverty and debt; deliver a new and expanded service, expand on services commissioned by the council
  • Quality partnerships to improve health and wellbeing and training and employment opportunities.
  • Successful communities able to participate in their community.

Social Housing Equalities Framework

  • 3.1 - Good quality information on the equality profile and needs of our tenants
  • 3.3 - KNH and partners working together to identify individual needs
  • 3.16 - Projects are delivering on equality objectives and contributing towards business objectives
  • 3.21 - KNH has taken tenants' views into account

Customer Service Excellence

  • 1.1.2 We have developed customer insight about our customer groups to better understand their needs and preferences.
  • 1.1.3 We make particular efforts to identify hard-to-reach and disadvantaged groups and individuals and have developed our services in response to their specific needs.
  • 3.4.1 We have made arrangements with other providers and partners to offer and supply co-ordinated services, and these arrangements have demonstrable benefits for our customers.
  • 3.4.2 We have developed co-ordinated working arrangements with our partners that ensure customers have clear lines of accountability for quality of service.