From education to employment

Over 100,000 more vulnerable and disadvantaged families to receive tailored support as flagship government scheme marks 10 years

Person holding a black folder
  • Over 100,000 more families will receive tailored support to turn their lives around through a flagship government programme, in addition to 650,000 helped since it opened
  • Up to £233.5m allocated to the Supporting Families programme for 2023/24, in addition to the  £1.9 billion allocated over the past 10 years
  • 150 local areas in England benefit from the programme that ensures a skilled keyworker works with the whole family to address issues such as housing insecurity, poor mental health, poor educational attainment and substance misuse
  • The value-for-money scheme is estimated to make £2.28 in taxpayer savings per every £1 spent, through diverting families away from children’s social care, and the welfare and justice systems

Thousands more vulnerable families with multiple and complex issues such as housing insecurity, poor education attainment and substance misuse are to receive tailored support to turn their lives around through a flagship government programme which this week marks its 10th year.

Over 100,000 more families in England will benefit from allocations totalling £233.5m announced today from the Supporting Families programme. This is on top of the 650,000 vulnerable families that have received support to help them turn their lives around and build brighter futures through the ‘whole family’ approach to tackling problems.  It bringing the total to more than £1.9 billion since the scheme as launched in 2013.

Through the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities programme, families are assigned a dedicated keyworker, who works with every member of the family and brings together local services to resolve issues as early as possible before they develop into crises. 

The programme directly helps families who are facing multiple and often overlapping vulnerabilities, such as: financial or housing insecurity, poor mental or physical health, domestic abuse, children at risk of harm, poor educational attainment or substance misuse.

The programme includes work to help people leave abusive relationships, access support for mental health issues and find work, for example.

The programme provides value-for-money, returning £2.28 in taxpayer savings per every £1 spent, through diverting families away from acute services such as children’s social care and the welfare and justice systems.  It has reduced the number of children on the programme entering care by 32%, reduced the number of juvenile custodial sentences by almost 40% and the proportion of adults on the programme claiming Jobseeker’s Allowance decreased by 11%.

The Prime Minister, Rishi Sunak, said:

“Since it began ten years ago, Supporting Families has provided vital help to thousands of families right across the country who face real challenges.

“The results are clear for all to see – the scheme has reduced the number of children entering care, cut the number of juvenile custodial sentences, helped many people into employment and reduced costs for the taxpayer.

“That is why we are backing the programme even further, with over £230 million this coming year to fund skilled keyworkers who help vulnerable and disadvantaged families turn their lives around.”

The Minister for Housing and Homelessness, Felicity Buchan said:

“Through its ground breaking whole-family early interventions, the Supporting Families programme has made a hugely positive impact on the lives of hundreds of thousands of families. 

“The last 10 years have seen significant positive changes, providing early access to better support from the right people at the right time – enabling families to overcome multiple and serious challenges. 

“Everyone involved in delivering the scheme can be really proud that they have supported some of the most vulnerable and disadvantaged families in our communities.” 

One family who has been supported by the programme includes a mum from Northumberland who was struggling with post-natal depression, financial pressures and finding the right support for her children’s additional needs. She was assigned a lead professional from Northumberland County Council’s Early Help team who supported mum to overcome the challenges she faced so she can give her children and the family a more settled and secure future.

At the 2021 Spending Review, the programme was awarded a 40% cash terms uplift in funding. In the current delivery period up to 2025, the programme is backed by £695m funding and is aiming to support a further 300,000 more families to make sustained, positive changes to their lives. In addition, the programme started a new joint governance arrangement with DfE.    

The government has also published the 2022/23 Supporting Families Annual Report. It is the 7th edition of the Annual Report, and reports on the number of outcomes have been achieved at national and local level by the programme. 

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