Troubled Families is a national programme working with families who have complex issues and cause problems within the community, at a high cost to the public sector.
Troubled Families uses a local approach which utilises existing systems in Middlesbrough to improve coordination and multi-agency cooperation to cultivate the 'whole family' approach. Each family is assigned a single contact who works assertively with family members and provides an integrated, whole family approach, instead of several agencies working in isolation with individual members of the same family.
The Troubled Families programme looks at ways of working differently to improve the outcomes for, and raise aspirations of, families living in the Middlesbrough area, and supports widespread service transformation to reduce the cost to the public purse of such families.
The government's expanded Troubled Families programme (Phase 2) started in January 2015 with the ambition of improving the lives of 440,000 families across England by 2020. In Phase 1 of the project, Middlesbrough was one of the highest performing local authorities. As part of Phase 2, Middlesbrough's aim is for 2059 families to be brought into the programme and make significant and sustained progress, in line with the Troubled Families Outcome Plan.
To be eligible for the programme the family needs to display at least two indicators from the following six categories:
- Parents and children involved in crime or anti-social behaviour.
- Children who have not been attending school regularly.
- Children who need help.
- Adults out of work or at risk of financial exclusion and young people at risk of worklessness.
- Families affected by domestic violence and abuse.
- Parents and children with a range of health problems.
These six categories form part of the Troubled Families Outcome Plan, which helps us to identify families who may need support and measure the journey of success.