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Medway Council is making good progress to support families
13 April 2017
Families are being provided with increased support following the
expansion of Medway’s Early Help strategy.
This work has developed from the learning of the Department
for Communities and Local Government’s Troubled Families Expanded
Programme which issued its first Troubled Families Annual
Report last week (Tuesday, 4 April).
Medway Council implemented the programme in April 2015, during
the third wave of authorities to provide early support to families
with underlying issues which, if left unsupported, can lead to
children being looked after by the state. Medway has integrated
this work as part of its Early Help strategy.
Latest figures show Medway is making good progress
The report highlights that Medway, compared with other third
wave authorities, is making steady progress and has reached 8.4 per
cent of its overall target to work with 2,060 families by 2020.
Medway has been successful in reaching significant and sustained
progress with 100 families and continuous employment with 73
families, making 173 families in total so far. This puts Medway on
average with other authorities who began the expanded programme in
Medway Council has been working hard to transform its services
to families requiring extra support and is working even closer with
partner agencies to do the same. Together we are helping more
families than ever before. The number of early help assessments
being undertaken across Medway has increased from 663 between April
2015 and March 2016 to 844 in the following eleven months (up until
In September 2015 the council started a multi-agency pilot of a
new assessment tool working with families with additional needs.
Seventy partner agencies have been involved in its design and so
far feedback has been very positive, with staff saying the new tool
is more user friendly and that the system reduces duplication. The
learning and progress from the pilot tool will assist in the
development of a new Early Help case recording system for all
Medway Early Help practitioners.
The council is also offering training to all practitioners in
Medway on the importance of providing help to families at the
earliest point a need is identified.
We will continue to provide early support to families
Cllr Andrew Mackness, Portfolio Holder of Children's Services,
said: “Medway Council is committed to working closely with its
partner agencies to provide support to families. Although it is too
early to know the real impact of the programme, it is
unquestionable that the help provided at the early stages helps
families to take necessary steps to ensure children regularly
attend school and adults are put back on a path to work. It also
helps to identify other important support that may be required and
can help to reduce offending and anti-social behaviour, as well as
other vulnerabilities. Medway is committed to supporting the Early
Help strategy to ensure families’ needs are met and to help make a