Families with multiple problems update – new funding and new ideas

I have just attended a great conference  Families with Multiple problems* – here is a round up of some key w2w issues raised.

Government promises new funding

Nick Lawrence, Deputy Director for Families with Multiple Problems at the Department for Education, announced that the Governent will be idenitfying new funding. He did not sat for what, or when; but he did say it was on its way.

He said in the past what had been done by Local Authorities was too little, too late. He went on to identify what works: a dedicated key worker; whole family approach; persistent working methods; no time limits; exit planning.

He also stated that Communities Secretary Eric Pickles  has been given direct responsibility for the family-intervention policy. Many people had thought that it would go to Ian Duncan Smith and the DWP.

LAs:  still unclear about ESF funding

Speakers from Local Authorities including, Westminster, Islington and Birmingham identified employment as a vital part of the mix in supporting families at risk. But a number of Local Authorities said they still felt unclear about how the ESF programme would work, Westminster even stating they had been advised that they could not be sub-contractors for a Prime.  A number of Speakers were concerned that winning Primes would go for the “low hanging fruit” and that the funding would not be allocated to the families they saw as “most in need”. It will be very important for LAs and Primes to agree who will benefit from the funding if the project is to be viable, as it is the LAs who nominate and the Primes who manage the budgets.

Working Families Everywhere
Emma Harrison of A4e was also at the conference and talked about her role in promoting Family Champions. She spoke about the need for families to have a purpose, and the importance of helping others as a driver for motivation.

* Early Intervention for Families at Risk, Capita conference 27/09/11 London.

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