Supporting Families Programme continues with £2 million funding
News that Hampshire County Council is to receive up to £2 million in funding to continue its Supporting Families Programme for a further year (to 31 March 2022), has been welcomed by the Authority’s Executive Member for Public Health, Councillor Judith Grajewski.
Councillor Grajewski commented: “We are extremely pleased that we will be able to maintain our vital work with partners to turn around the lives of Hampshire’s most vulnerable families. Our Supporting Families programme, brings together a wide range of Hampshire agencies including local councils, the Police, voluntary sector, Health and Criminal Justice and, since we began in 2012, has transformed the way services are delivered to support Hampshire families with multiple, complex and persistent issues affecting wellbeing and children’s ability to thrive.
“The announcement from Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government is particularly significant this year, when the adverse impacts of the coronavirus pandemic are being keenly felt, especially by families who were already struggling to cope under normal circumstances.”
Hampshire’s Supporting Families Programme is part of a national initiative to support families facing multiple issues such as persistent unemployment, poor education, poor health, crime and antisocial behaviour, domestic violence and young people failing to thrive.
Between January 2015 and December 2020, the Programme engaged with 7,696 vulnerable families with multiple and complex needs. To date, positive outcomes have been recorded for 1,923 families, who have accepted and engaged with support and achieved significant and sustained changes within the family as a result, such as sustained employment or improved school attendance.
Independent evaluation by Solent University demonstrated that between 2015-19, the support given to families to get back on their feet successfully, translated into savings or costs avoided of £27million to the public purse.
Recognising that Government funding to support the programme may cease in future years and the increased need for support services as a result of Covid-19, the County Council put in place two grants programmes to enable some of those organisations already delivering direct support to families to continue their good work. To date, around £200,000 has been awarded for the delivery of interventions across the county.
The programme takes a ‘whole family’ approach involving everyone in the family including grandparents, parents, young people and children. It allows families to build on their strengths while helping them to overcome some of the concerns, difficulties, challenges or obstacles they may have in their lives.