Council rewarded for work with vulnerable families
Published: Wednesday, February 5, 2020
The work of the council in helping the borough’s vulnerable families turn their lives around has been recognised by ministers who have approved an additional cash boost of £250,000 innovation money compared to last year to continue this important work.
The additional funds will support 2,300 vulnerable families who are eligible for help and support under the scheme.
The programme is aimed at supporting families affected by a number of social problems including drink and/or drug addiction, domestic violence, educational underachievement, worklessness, poverty, child neglect, truancy, persistent criminality and anti-social behaviour.
This year 417 families have had their lives transformed for the better and are now having little or no involvement with the police, the criminal justice system, their children are now attending school regularly and their health and welfare has been significantly improved.
Each individual family whose lives are successfully turned around have a positive impact on reductions in crime and anti-social behaviour, a fall in the number of children that need to be taken into care, fewer visits to A&E, fewer interventions from the police and the courts and by getting adults off benefits and back into work.
The Wandsworth programme works by assigning a dedicated worker to engage with a whole family on all of its problems, such as ensuring that the children attend school, appointments are met and appropriate services are accessed.
Crucially, all of the public services working with the families enjoy better co-ordination, ensuring that all the different agencies work much more closely together to tackle the root cause of problems rather than just the symptoms.
The £250,000 in extra transformation funding brings the total government grant available for the service up to £913,000 for the year.
Cabinet member for children’s services Cllr Will Sweet said: “This is a crucial area of work in support of families who often have very deep-seated problems and find it difficult to cope or to find positive ways out of their situations.
“Our task is to help them address these difficult situations and help them to change their behaviour. The aim is to improve not only their lives and the lives of their children, but also those of their neighbours and the wider community.
“By helping them bring their lives back into focus and tackling these issues in a joined-up way, it improves their lives, creates better citizens and makes the borough an even better place to live.”