PM praises county programme helping families in need

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Latest statistics have revealed that Hertfordshire County Council’s dedicated professionals have helped a huge number of families in need and are on track to support twice as many in coming years.

Since 2012, the county’s Thriving Families Programme surpassed its target to support 1,350 families in three years, offering a total of 1,476 families help, advice and support on a range of issues.

The service supports families who find it difficult to get work, have children who are not attending school regularly or have been involved in crime and the family behaviour has been anti-social.

The programme works in partnership with other agencies to support these vulnerable families to turn their lives around, by modelling and enhancing parenting skills, improving school attendance, providing money management advice, helping with building confidence and skills to be work ready and supporting families through housing-related problems.

Cabinet member for children’s services Richard Roberts said: “In Hertfordshire we are committed to ensuring that every child and young person has an opportunity to grow up healthy and happy. Through Thriving Families, we are reaching out and helping families in need earlier than ever, we want to create an environment where all young people are cared for and have the chance to reach their full potential.

“I’m proud of our staff and their work to date, but we want to do more. We will continue to put a great deal of energy into realising the potential of all these vulnerable families. Over the next five years we think another 4,500 families will benefit from this programme of support.”

This short video shows how Thriving Families helped two women to improve their families’ circumstances:

The government released national figures on Monday and Prime Minister David Cameron praised the programme’s “unprecedented success”.

Thriving Families in Hertfordshire incorporates the Troubled Families programme of the Department of Communities and Local Government (DCLG) as part of a longer term early help strategy to manage the demand for high cost services in the future.

Richard added: “The news is hugely positive for Hertfordshire families and also a credit to the dedicated professional teams who have worked hard to support vulnerable residents, saving the public purse in the long run.”

The team expects to engage with at least twice the number of families, approximately 1,500 in 2015/16 and over 2,000 per year by 2018/19 2019/20.