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Improving outcomes for Families. Kris Krasnowski, Director for London Inclusion. Outline. Defining “troubled” families Rationale What works? Discussion points.

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improving outcomes for families

Improving outcomes for Families

Kris Krasnowski,

Director for London


  • Defining “troubled” families
  • Rationale
  • What works?
  • Discussion points

A troubled family is one that has serious problems, that has immediate social and intergenerational impacts and costs local services a lot of time and money to respond or correct.


Parent based disadvantages:

5 or more

Significantly poorer life outcomes for children

But a recent study has questioned the use of these figures as the basis of the Govt intervention, see

using govt s definition
Using Govt’s definition...

= 120,000

Almost one fifth of the troubled families are in London


“I'm committed to transforming the lives of families stuck in a cycle of unemployment, alcohol abuse and anti-social behaviour, where children are truants from school - troubled families who cause such negativity within their communities and who drain resources from our councils...”

Prime Minister, March 2012


Reduced life chances

Cost to society

CLG estimate cost at £9bn annually, or £75,000 per family, per year

Almost £1.6bn in London

£8bn spent on reactive measures

Only £1bn spent preventative measures

  • Children aged 13-14 from troubled families are 36 times more likely to be excluded from school;
  • Six times more likely to be in care or to have contract with police
the govt programme
The Govt Programme
  • £448m investment led by CLG’s Troubled Families Unit working closely with LAs.
  • National network of co-ordinators / trouble shooters (3 year funding settlement)
  • Payment by results scheme operated by CLG with LAs (40% Govt funded 60% LA and partners)
  • £200m ESF Families programme led by DWP
spotlight on clg s pbr approach
Spotlight on CLG’s PbR approach
  • PbR criteria are:
    • 85% attendance at school and fewer than 3 exclusions
    • 60% reduction in anti-social behaviour across the family
    • 33% reduction in youth offending
    • Payment: £3,900
  • Plus:
    • Progress towards work (WP or ESF Troubled Families provision) = Payment: £100
  • Or:
    • One adult in family moving off benefits and into work = Payment: £4,000
what works
What works?
  • Personalised and family focussed. Range of interventions built around a family and its needs.
  • Strong partnerships across local areas drawing on range of expertise from police and social workers to housing providers and job centres.
  • Central co-ordination and local control – usually led by LA to indentify suitable families and maintain oversight.
  • Realistic objectives. Equipping parents and families to cope and move beyond existing barriers one step at a time (but it doesn’t exclude work)

Family Recovery Project

1. Whole view of the family - Meeting the needs of both adults and children

2. Team around the family - Unified service response

3. Two lead professionals for adults and children

4. Integrated Family Care Planadult and children’s needs - Focused on

outcomes and consequences

5. Real time intelligence function through Information Desk

6. Capacity building - Encouraging resilience

7. Swift access to adults services – Domestic Violence, Substance Misuse

and Mental Health workers

8. Intensive outreach - Fast, intensive, targeted

9. Multi agency response to crime and ASB - Both victims and perpetrators

10. Co-located, multi-agency team - All in one project

Source: Westminster Council

questions observations
Questions / observations
  • The evidence base draws on secondary analysis of the Families and Children Study (FACS) in 2004 data – is it an accurate reflection of need? Have problems gotten worse?
  • Obvious differences between CLG’s approach and DWP’s – (devolved vs centralised) what issues does this raise? Can the two approaches work together?
  • Is there a fair funding allocation to London? £24m for ESF scheme, yet London has 19% of families = £38m?
  • Anecdotally, rumours suggest DWP’s provision is underperforming – teething trouble or something more substantial?
  • If it is underperforming what happens to underspend?