Deprived families in all 12 North East council areas are to benefit from an extra £14mn support this year to help them deal with complex issues such as housing insecurity, poor education attainment and substance misuse’
There are among over 100,000 more families in England who will benefit from allocations totalling £233.5mn announced today by the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (DLUHC) from the Supporting Families programme.
This is on top of the 650,000 vulnerable families that have received support to help them turn their lives around and build brighter futures through the ‘whole family’ approach to tackling problems, said he DLUHC. It brings the total to more than £1.9bn since the scheme was launched in 2013.
For the coming year North East councils will receive the following amounts:
Darlington: £ 574,467; County Durham: £2,553,667; Gateshead: £1,042,167; Hartlepool: £672,600; Middlesbrough: £1,201,300; Newcastle: £1,541,467; North Tyneside: £906,900; Northumberland: £1,245,300; Redcar & Cleveland: £770,733; South Tyneside: £999,633; Stockton: £1,146,833; Sunderland: £1,566,000.
Payment by results
In most cases councils will receive their funding under a payment-by-results scheme, though 14 councils in England, including County Durham, have achieved Earned Autonomy (EH) status and received their money up-front in recognition of the maturity of their early help system.
Through the programme, families are assigned a dedicated keyworker, who works with every member of the family and brings together local services to resolve issues as early as possible before they develop into crises.
According to the DLUHC the programme directly helps families who are facing multiple and often overlapping vulnerabilities, such as financial or housing insecurity, poor mental or physical health, domestic abuse, children at risk of harm, poor educational attainment or substance misuse.
The programme includes work to help people leave abusive relationships, access support for mental health issues and find work, for example, said the Department.
It claimed the programme provides value-for-money, returning £2.28 in taxpayer savings per every £1 spent, through diverting families away from acute services such as children’s social care and the welfare and justice systems.
It is said to have reduced the number of children on the programme entering care by 32%, the number of juvenile custodial sentences by almost 40% and the proportion of adults claiming Jobseeker’s Allowance by 11%.
According to the programme’s latest annual report, by 5 January this year 50,860 families nationally had been successfully helped in 2022-23 either by “achieving significant and sustained outcomes” or by “achieving continuous employment outcomes” – a success rate of 78%.
The success rate in the North East was – County Durham: 100% (760 families); Darlington: 70% (85); Gateshead: 69% (189); Hartlepool: 63% (99); Middlesbrough: 100% (331); Newcastle: 78% (327); North Tyneside: 100% (227); Northumberland: 70% (242); Redcar & Cleveland: 66% (127); South Tyneside: 77% (200); Stockton: 53% (166); Sunderland: 77% (328).
The Prime Minister, Rishi Sunak, said:
“Since it began ten years ago, Supporting Families has provided vital help to thousands of families right across the country who face real challenges. The results are clear for all to see – the scheme has reduced the number of children entering care, cut the number of juvenile custodial sentences, helped many people into employment and reduced costs for the taxpayer.
“That is why we are backing the programme even further, with over £230 million this coming year to fund skilled keyworkers who help vulnerable and disadvantaged families turn their lives around.”
The Minister for Housing and Homelessness, Felicity Buchan said:
“Through its ground breaking whole-family early interventions, the Supporting Families programme has made a hugely positive impact on the lives of hundreds of thousands of families.
“The last ten years have seen significant positive changes, providing early access to better support from the right people at the right time – enabling families to overcome multiple and serious challenges. Everyone involved in delivering the scheme can be really proud that they have supported some of the most vulnerable and disadvantaged families in our communities.”
At the government’s 2021 Spending Review, the programme was awarded a 40% cash terms uplift in funding. In the current delivery period up to 2025, it is backed by £695 million funding and is aiming to support a further 300,000 more families to make sustained, positive changes to their lives, said the DLUHC.