Frequently asked questions (FAQ's)

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Document released by the National Troubled Families Team:
Frequently Asked Questions Updated 28th October 2013

How is the FamiliesGateshead (FG) Programme different from other family intervention work that we do?

The FG programme is in many ways just an extension of the work we were doing with families anyway. We have been commissioning a range of Family Intervention Programmes since about 2008 and we have long recognised in Gateshead the value of intensive interventions with families. Where the programme is different is that we are using hard data about families to identify and prioritise who we are working with. This data identifies high cost and in many cases complex families where there is involvement in anti social behaviour, youth crime, poor engagement in education and reliance on out of work benefits. Many of the families we would be involved with anyway as they are being worked with by services but some would not have been. Also, this is a payment by result (PbR) programme which is becoming a favoured way of working by the Government in financing public sector services.

As the programme develops in Gateshead we are adjusting our approach to try to ensure that the highest priority families are receiving intervention and that it is at the right level for that family.    

How has Gateshead Council used the money we receive from the Troubled Families Programme?

We receive two sources of money through the programme, an attachment fee and the payment by results money. The attachment fee is a fixed amount whereas we can only predict the PbR money. We have used the money in three ways. Firstly we have employed about 15 FamiliesGateshead workers who act as the Lead Practitioners for cases. Secondly we have commissioned or purchased a range of services which can be accessed by the families. These include FIPS, Family Group Conferencing, counselling, advice on behaviour, advise around training and employment, as well as access to personal budgets to assist the family and/or purchase bespoke support. Finally we have used a small amount of the money to create a post to support the work of the programme.

What will happen when the programme ends?

The programme was originally due to end in March 2015 with May 2015 as the last opportunity to claim PbR money. Depending on how successful the programme has been in achieving good outcomes for families the Children’s Trust will need to consider whether this way of identifying and working with families is a way it wants to continue to work. If the programme is successful we should start to see a reduction in the number of families requiring high level support in Gateshead.

The government recently announced through the June 2013 spending review its intention to extend the programme by a further 5 years with funding secured for 2015/16. The longer term future will be dependent on the outcome of the 2015 general election.

Why is it so important that we claim payment by results?

The most important aspect of this programme is that we achieve a change in the lives and prospects of children in Gateshead, helping them from poor educational and social outcomes to leading healthy, productive and happy lives. Secondly that by doing so we reduce the burden of complex families on the public purse allowing public services to make savings and /or reinvest in children with extremely high needs. Finally the small reward payments will allow us, whilst the programme is live, to invest in the families for whom we can make a difference. We hope to be able to claim about £370,000 over three years which will allow us to employ FamiliesGateshead workers and commission/purchase services.

What are the FamiliesGateshead Triggers?

A child has had below 85% attendance and/or has had 3 or more fixed term exclusions and/or has been permanently excluded and/or is currently in a Pupil Referral Unit and/or in an Alternative Education setting and/or is not on a school roll and/or other comparable concerns within the last 3 consecutive school terms.

Youth Crime & Anti Social Behaviour (ASB)
Youth Crime - Any under 18 in the household with a proven offence within the last 12 months
ASB - Any person in the household who has received and Anti Social Behaviour Order, Injunction, Contract or where there has been Housing related Anti Social Intervention within the last 12 months

Department for Work & Pensions (DWP)
One or more person aged 18 years or over is claiming out of work benefits.

Local Discretionary Criteria
A household has had support or intervention from 3 or more local agencies within the last 12 months - Youth Offending Team, Family Intervention Team, SMART, Children & Families, Health etc..

What do I do if I am working with a family I think should be part of the FamiliesGateshead programme?

Please contact the Project Support Officer, Michael Gallagher with the following information:
Parent/Carer name and date of birth
Child/Children names and dates of birth
Details of criteria met

The Children's Commissioning Team will then work with you to confirm whether the family is eligible for inclusion.

When should I undertake a CAF assessment?

A CAF assessment should be undertaken with the family when there is no other recent assessment in place and should be carried out within 10 working days of first successful contact with the family. Your completed assessment MUST be sent to the Children's Commissioning Team for centralised recording.

For those families that have had recent Social Care intervention and have had a CIN assessment carried out, a CAF would not be necessary.

For further information about the CAF Assessment and CAF Review processes, please click here 

  See Also

Common Assessment Framework (CAF) and Team Around the Family (TAF)