Funding to support vulnerable Brighton and Hove families is welcomed

Government funding to help and support vulnerable Brighton and Hove families has been welcomed by the Conservatives.

Monday, 14th June 2021, 2:47 pm

Back in March, £165m nationally was announced for the newly named ‘Supporting Families’ programme, previously known as the ‘Troubled Families’ programme,

Vulnerable families identified by the programme are assigned a dedicated keyworker to work with every member of the family and services are brought together to resolve issues at an early stage before they develop into more significant problems.

This week the Conservative group at Brighton and Hove Council has welcomed the extension of the programme and the award of nearly £1million for the city in 2021/22.

Brighton and Hove is set to receive funds from the government's supporting families programme

This comes ahead of today’s children, young people and skills committee, which is due to discuss an early help review and development of a city-wide strategy to support children, young people, and families at risk of disadvantage.

Speaking ahead of today’s committee meeting, Vanessa Brown, Conservative spokesperson for children, families and schools, said: “I always had reservations about the name of the programme as it seemed to label families, so I was pleased to read that from April 2022 it will be called the ‘supporting families programme’. This feels far more inclusive.

“There is national evidence to show that giving help and support to families as early as possible stops problems from escalating and this money will hopefully help the council to achieve this.

“The programme will work with vulnerable families who are experiencing multiple disadvantages. These could be domestic abuse, bereavement, poor mental health, job loss, poverty etc.

“It will be a multi-agency approach. The data will be collated and the outcomes for the families will be reported. This specific Government money should help a number of families achieve a more stable, happier life.”

According to council officers in a committee report: “A holistic review of existing preventative services and early help provision is the best way to ensure that future financial decisions are focused on reducing inefficiencies and duplication across the system, whilst addressing gaps and targeting resources to support those families most in need and at risk of multiple disadvantage.

“This includes FCL services, wider BHCC services working with families (e.g. housing), health services (including health visiting and school nursing, both child and adult mental health, and drug and alcohol services), the police, schools and voluntary sector services working with families.

“The work planned for the Early Help review is the necessary preparatory work for developing a citywide wide strategy for tackling disadvantage in families.”