Families with multiple problems – who are they?

The DWP look set to commission employment focused provision for families with multiple problems under the DWP Framework. So in the next few months we will be looking at aspects of who these families are and what types of service make the most difference in helping them get back to work.

1. Identifying families with multiple problems

Local Authorities will be the primary route to identify families for the employment programme. DWP has stated that it is likely that families would have to have at least one member on DWP out of work benefits and a history of worklessness in the family. A further division might be into the types of intervention they require. Four useful categories are

Universal – all children and families not requiring additional support.
This means they will be using  mainstream schools, primary healthcare, hospital and youth services.

Targeted – children and families needing extra support.
Services provided by, for example, Sure Start Children’s Centres which are set to focus on the most disadvantaged, parenting support, family debt services, and the new Work programme

Specialist – children and families needing intensive assistance.
Specialist interventions dealing with long term worklessness, offending/substance misuse, acute mental health issues,  instability of housing tenure.

Statutory – children and families in crisis.
Ending family violence, care away from the home, multiple offending incidents, and chronic substance misuse.

It is likely that the families Framework providers will concentrate on are those in the targetted and specialsit groups with intense support on family issues as the focus for those in the Statutory group.

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