Medway Council’s Troubled Families Programme has been ranked as the best performing in the south east, according to government figures released last week.
The council’s Troubled Families Programme helped support 2,060 local families, with multiple and complex needs, achieve significant and sustained progress between 2015-2020. The programme was ranked amongst the top performing areas across the country last year and now the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government has named Medway’s service the best performing area, out of 17, across the south east.
The government programme aims to help troubled families turn their lives around by using targeted interventions with a whole family approach to avoid costlier interventions further down the track. The families the programme supports face a number of complex problems including children in need of help, crime and anti-social behaviour, domestic abuse, mental health, educational risk, financial exclusion and unemployment.
The programme is driving a profound shift to the way that local services respond to entrenched problems and support our most disadvantaged families. The joined-up approach, with a single key worker assigned to each family, backed by multi-agency partners including health and education providers and dedicated support from the Department of Work and Pensions means local agencies can work with whole families to tackle the wide range of issues they may face, providing them with 'wrap-around' support. The key workers are highly trained and come from a number of agencies to enable the best results for Medway families.
Medway Council has helped 2,060 families improve their lives and has supported 5,000 children as part of its work. Families are able to refer themselves to the programme on the council’s website or they can be referred by local professionals.
The COVID-19 pandemic has had a significant effect on many of the families helped by Medway Council but the Early Help Teams and Children’s Services teams have found alternative ways of continuing to support families, including sending out activity packs with reading and craft exercises and utilising technology to keep in touch with families.
These excellent results are testament to our teams hard work
Cllr Josie Iles, Medway Council’s Lead Member for Children’s Services, said: “Helping the most vulnerable families in Medway make positive changes to turn their lives around is one of the most rewarding things a council can do. These excellent results are testament to the huge amount of hard work our teams invest in the families in this programme. We will continue to work closely with partner agencies to ensure we continue to see these inspiring outcomes. The ongoing Covid-19 pandemic has affected all of our lives, but it has had a particularly profound effect on many of the families we support. We will continue to work with, and support, families across Medway and I would like to thank our Early Help Transformation Team for their continued hard work, especially with how they have overcome the challenges posed by lockdown. I would also like to thank all of our Children’s Services teams, and partner agencies, who continue to support families across Medway.”