West Sussex £21m project to help turn troubled families around extended to 2020

A fund set up in the wake of the Shoreham air disaster has received more than �15,000
A fund set up in the wake of the Shoreham air disaster has received more than �15,000

A £21m project to help turn troubled families around in West Sussex has been extended to 2020.

More than 1,000 families have been helped by phase one of the West Sussex Think Family Partnership’s work, with phase two looking at transforming the lives of 4,060 households with multiple and complex needs.

It is funded by West Sussex County Council, Department for Communities and Local Government grants, and partner contributions. Phase one cost £7.6m, or £6,454 per family intervention, with £4.368m received from the DCLG.

Estimated costs would see £21.8m spent on the project in West Sussex over the next five years.

The initiative draws together a range of organisations such as social services, health professionals, schools, district councils, police and housing to help families address problems such as anti-social behaviour, unemployment, poor school attendance, and domestic violence.

It has helped get people back into work, children back into school, and cut down repeated crime and anti-social behaviour in many of the targeted cases.

In phase two the six headline criteria are: children/families at risk of financial exclusion, children not attending school regularly, parents and children involved in anti-social behaviour or crime, parents or children with a range of health problems, children who need help, and families affected by domestic violence and abuse.

Any of these two criteria are sufficient to establish a vulnerable family’s eligibility for intervention.

A county council report on the decision to extend the project 2020 reads: “West Sussex emerged as the leading area in England for securing jobs for families supported. A strong keyworker service was created to operate alongside existing services.

“Think Family neighbourhoods have built resilience at community level. In the broader arena of early intervention, an early help resource centre and family support networks are being developed to ensure that the assessment of needs and the service response can be rapidly and accurately deployed at a local level.”

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