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Troubled Families

Volume 624: debated on Tuesday 18 April 2017

As required by the Welfare Reform and Work Act 2016, section 3(1) and (11), my Department published the first annual report on Tuesday 4 April, setting out how the current Troubled Families programme (2015-2020) has been supporting the most disadvantaged families. We will lay this report on 24 April 2017 when both Houses have returned from recess.

This notice details what the report will cover, for the period up to end of March 2017, as well as for the next financial year, including setting out which families are eligible for the programme and how the progress of families supported will be measured.

Families classed as ‘relevant households’ on the programme, as defined by section 3 of the Welfare Reform and Work Act 2016, have at least two of the following problems:

Parents or children involved in crime or anti-social behaviour.

Children who are not attending school regularly.

Children who need help; that is children of all ages, who need help, are identified as in need or are subject to a child protection plan.

Adults out of work or at risk of financial exclusion or young people at risk of worklessness.

Families affected by domestic violence or abuse.

Parents or children with a range of physical and mental health problems.

The rationale for these eligibility criteria and how local authorities should identify families using a range of indicators, suggested referral routes and information sources was set out in the “Financial framework for the expanded Troubled Families programme: April 2015 onwards” published on 5 March 2015. The financial framework also sets out how the progress of families supported will be measured.

‘Supporting disadvantaged families, Troubled Families programme 2015-2020: progress so far’ sets out how the programme is changing the way councils work to be more effective in supporting those in need, including through a whole family approach and co-ordinated practical support. It also includes considerations for the next phase of the programme including which families are eligible for support, and how their progress will be measured.

The programme will continue support for disadvantaged families with complex problems and will work with up to 400,000 families by 2020.

The next phase of the Troubled Families programme supports the Government’s paper, “Improving Lives: Helping Workless Families”. This sets out new evidence on the multiple and overlapping disadvantages experienced by workless families - including parental conflict and problem debt.

As part of the next phase of the programme, the Government will be conducting a review of the current payment-by-results funding model. This is to make sure that this model continues to help the programme meet its objectives, and to strengthen the programme’s funding requirements.