This report contains an outline of the Surrey Family Support Programme’s implementation model and provides detail of the implementation and progress of the South East Family Support Team in Tandridge.
[This item was taken before item 12 at the request of the Vice-Chairman.]
Declarations of Interest: None
Officers attending: Sean Rafferty, Head of Family Services and Duane Kirkland, Supporting Families Team Leader
Petitions, Public Questions, Statements: None
Member Discussion – key points:
· The Head of Family Services explained to members that 6 teams were in place across the county bringing local agencies together to work in a coordinated way with families with multiple needs. Families get 12 weeks (or more if required) of intensive support, in order to link them into services they are entitled to and to agree a single multi-agency family support plan. Each family then gets a team around them of Family support from a range of agencies for up to 12 months.
· The Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) has stated that Surrey is currently the leading county in this initiative. Whilst the team is happy with this feedback they will be better able to confirm successes after a period of 12 months. Key to this will be whether the changes the families make are sustainable.
· Tandridge is part of a Tri-Borough partnership with Mole Valley and Reigate and Banstead. The Service was extended to Tandridge in October so it is still very early days for Tandridge residents.
· Tandridge has currently five referrals (four of which are active) however it is too early to share results, although the signs are positive.
· Members raised concerns regarding whether the programme was sustainable and asked for an update in 12 months time along with a more relevant case study or scenario highlighting what progress had been made.
· Members raised concerns regarding the number of low referrals however the officers clarified the referral processes and continued that they would welcome any suggested partners from members to approach regarding the scheme.
The officers explained to the committee that the target for Surrey
was 1050 families to be turned around by May 2015 with an
indicative target for Tandridge of 48
families. Local criteria have been added to the Government’s
criteria for the national programme in order to make a better fit
with Surrey families. (For example, in relation to being
unemployed). It is hoped that the programme will be extended
further in 2014 as part of Surrey’s participation in the
Government’s Transforming Public Services Network. If this is
the case the local criteria will be extended further to offer
support to a wider number of families.
Officers generally found that the families were keen to participate in the programme and only 30 (out of over 350 currently approached) have turned it down; however these families will be approached once more.
Members stated concerns regarding the diversion of resources from
the non consenting families (who would likely be the most
problematic) to those who have consented, thus leaving them more
vulnerable. Officers responded that there had been no evidence of
this thus far and that all families would be given the opportunity
to change their minds to enter the programme.
The most difficult families would never be ignored, particularly as they will always already be in the system and dealt with through a legal framework, such as through the courts. To work, it is important that the families have the desire to change.
· Members praised the work of the programme and the teams involved and Mr David Hodge expressed his gratitude and congratulations to the team as Louise Casey, Director General of the Government’s Troubled Families Unit, had written to him personally to inform him of Surrey being the leader in this field.
· Members asked how they could support the programme and as a result agreed to keep the programme at the top of their agendas
The Committee NOTED the report for information.