blackfamilyAs the Government announces the latest success of the Troubled Families intervention programme, the Chief Fire Officers Association (CFOA) has praised fire and rescue services contributions in delivering outcomes that have turned families’ lives around.

The Troubled Families programme, launched in December 2011, is working with 117,000 families. Local teams have already assisted 69,000 families who were experiencing multiple family problems such as: high levels of truancy, youth crime, anti-social behaviour and unemployment, providing a single key case worker who coordinates services from a number of different agencies.

The fire service, together with the Police, health providers and voluntary sector organisations, has been working with local council teams to help those who need support. The multi-agency nature of the initiative allows better outcomes to be delivered to local neighbourhoods, while partnership working helps to break down the ‘silo’ nature of organisations working alone.

CFOA President Peter Dartford said: “We are really pleased to hear of the achievements of the programme to date, and extremely proud of the role played by Fire and Rescue Services who have contributed to delivering positive outcomes for troubled families.”

“Fire and Rescue Services are working in partnership with other organisations across the country to help deliver initiatives such as these that improve the lives of local communities, increase well-being and make a difference to the quality of people’s lives. The Fire Service’s proven ability to gain access to hard-to-reach families – to get through front doors – means we are ideally placed to help these schemes.”

'Rebalancing' act
Working together, the multiple organisations helping troubled families can jointly identify and address the multiple issues the family is facing, and provide a single intervention plan, enabling families to resolve their problems and turn their lives around. As each family’s specific needs are different, each intervention will be different, and can be innovative and flexible in delivering solutions.

CFO Dartford's own service, Staffordshire FRS has particularly been involved in the programme since summer 2012, working with Stoke-on-Trent City Council to deliver the ‘Rebalance Me’ intervention.

The programme has helped turn the lives round of many families. This included a Stoke-on-Trent family, whose housing situation was causing serious issues for the family of six, in particular their son who has a learning disability and anger management issues. The family was assigned a key case worker from Staffordshire Police, who was able to work with the city council to address their housing problems.

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