More than 1,000 families in need of support have turned their lives around with help from a ground-breaking Surrey programme.
New figures reveal that the Surrey Family Support Programme has reached a Government target two months early by helping 1,050 of the county’s most vulnerable families.
The initiative involves public services in Surrey working together so they can better support families facing difficulties such as unemployment and truancy from school.
It brings together Surrey County Council and the county’s borough and district councils, working in partnership with the police, the NHS and Job Centre Plus.
Latest figures show that the programme has turned around the lives of 1,050 families who most needed help since it began in 2012, beating a Government target to achieve that goal by May.
Many families benefited from intensive help from a dedicated support worker and a family support plan devised with input from across the public services.
Surrey’s Family Support Programme has been singled out by the Government as being among the best in the country and will be extended to help a further 3,660 families over the next five years. It will also be widened to cover families affected by domestic abuse and ill-health.
Clare Curran, Surrey County Council’s Cabinet Associate for Children, Schools and Learning, said: ‘Helping families to thrive is at the core of what we do and by pulling together with other organisations we can help our most vulnerable families more effectively.
‘These results show that this way of working has been a great success and we now plan to support 3,660 more families by 2020.
‘Surrey’s Family Support Programme is all about helping families to transform their lives when they face difficulties such as unemployment or are involved in anti-social behaviour, but the work will benefit all taxpayers in the county by reducing these families’ reliance on public services in the future.’
Councillor Jean Pinkerton, Cabinet Member for Housing, Health, Wellbeing and Independent Living at Spelthorne Borough Council, the lead council in the North East Surrey family support team, said: ‘The programme has transformed the way we support the most vulnerable families across the North East of Surrey.
‘The intensive nature of support offered to these families, coupled with the improved joint agency working, has had a transformative and empowering effect on many families with a long history of involvement with services.’
The Department for Communities and Local Government today published figures from Surrey and the rest of the country showing how many families had been helped.
For further information, visit the Department for Communities and Local Government website.