Targeted Family Support

Why is it an issue?

Of the £9 billion currently spent on troubled families nationally, £8 billion is spent on reacting to, rather than preventing their problems.

What is the position in Devon?

In Devon, 1370 families have been identified which are particularly affected by problems such as low school attendance, youth crime and anti-social behaviour and unemployment.  Child Protection Plans in Devon reveal a pattern of multiple and complex needs, with mental problems, domestic violence, offending and substance misuse figuring prominently.

What is the evidence of effective interventions?

There have been a number of initiatives designed to address the needs of the most vulnerable families.  The challenge set by the Government in 2011 is to develop new ways of working which focus on lasting change and turn around the lives of the identified families to get the adults into work, children into school and cut crime and anti-social behaviour whilst cutting overall costs to the public purse. The project links to other important areas such as welfare reform and the development of family recovery approaches to alcohol and substance misuse.

“Although a relatively small population, the move from curative to preventive support techniques is a very important channel shift to make…”