In April 2014 we started delivery of an element of Lambeth Council’s approach to the national Troubled Families initiative. Rebranded locally as the Aspirational Lambeth Families programme, the service involves working intensively with families with particular needs such as involvement in crime or anti-social behaviour, children truanting regularly and families with adults accessing out of work benefits.  Families referred to the service may also have a range of other needs including domestic abuse, substance misuse, mental health difficulties, and debt related to housing. Since the start of the programme the team has been successful at building strong relationships with families and developing partnerships with schools, the local police, the safer neighbourhood team and domestic abuse agencies.

This is a new and exciting strand of work for SHP and the Lambeth team has built on their experiences to develop a successful service model shaped by service user and commissioner feedback, focusing on supporting the whole family to access necessary services. A key part of the programme is the joining up of work and support that different agencies are offering families, reducing duplication and making change more achievable. As of March 2015 the service had supported 140 families, seeing a number of positive outcomes: 21 families avoided eviction and maintained their accommodation, 29 families were supported to reduce their debt, 11 family members had job interviews and 17 family members had been accepted into training or education.

 

 

The next steps for the team are to develop their levels of engagement and initial contact with a family by improving data from the local authority and embedding the programme into Lambeth’s core service provision. We have been re-commissioned by the borough for another year until March 2016 and the there is a potential opportunity for growth as Troubled Families’ programmes are rolled out across all London borough