This measure reports on WSCC’s ability to deliver targets laid down by the DCLG (Department for Communities and Local Government) as part of the national Troubled Families programme to 2020. These relate to ‘turning around’ families against national vulnerability criteria, where they have at least two of the following characteristics:

  • Children who have not been attending school regularly;
  • Parents and children involved in crime and anti-social behaviour;
  • Domestic violence and abuse;
  • Children who need help;
  • Parents and children with a range of health problems;
  • Adults out of work or at risk of financial exclusion;
  • Young people at risk of worklessness

Such families often have very long-standing issues, and represent a high cost to a range of public services. Intervention is through an intensive keyworker service, or alternatively through a range of partners offering early help interventions. It will often take around 12 months before ‘success’ can be reported: the intention is to provide significant outcomes which a family can sustain into the future. There is an accompanying methodology which measures how far the family has travelled towards sustainability, to allow audit and evaluation of the results. Work with families is part-funded by the DCLG, and supported by the DWP (Department of Work and Pensions). A range of WSCC and commissioned private and third sector services jointly contribute to these outcomes, facilitated by the County Council. The Think Family Partnership includes District Councils, Sussex Police, Health, Housing, Schools, Children’s Social Care and a wide range of charities.

Quarter 4 - March 2018
Up to 31st March 2018 the authority has claimed a total of 1,939 successes, which is in line with expectations. A strong plan is in place to achieve our overall March 2020 target of 3,940 families turned around against national criteria, recognising that some variability in individual quarters is to be expected across a five-year programme. The formation of the Integrated Prevention & Earliest Help service (IPEH) from April 2017 has made a significant contribution to this process over the last year, through focusing a range of professional disciplines in a more effective way to support vulnerable families. The recent publication of national results continues to show West Sussex as one of the foremost authorities in the local delivery of the government’s ambitions for families. 

Quarter 3 - December 2017

Up to 31st December 2017 the authority has claimed a total of 1,741 successes. A further 88 cases will be claimed in January 2018, giving a total of 1,829. A strong plan is in place to achieve our overall March 2020 target of 3,940 families turned around against national criteria, although some variability in individual quarters is to be expected across a five-year programme. In the meantime, we have made 6,394 attachments of qualifying families – i.e. those we have actively worked with or are currently working with since September 2014. This suggests that the need for preventative, early intervention services remains high. West Sussex is regarded as a leading authority in the local delivery of the government’s ambitions for families through the national programme, and these figures are in line with current and projected success targets.

Quarter 2 - September 2017

Up to 30th September 2017 the authority has claimed a total of 1,511 successes. A further 230 cases have been presented to the DCLG at the beginning of October 2017 and are undergoing the audit process within DCLG. These figures are in line with current success targets.

In the meantime, we have made 5,809 attachments of qualifying families – i.e. those we have actively worked with or are currently working with in Phase 2 since September 2014. The number of active attached cases currently being worked on by West Sussex is 2,270.

Quarter 1 - June 2017

Up to 30th June 2017 the authority has claimed a total of 1,281 successes. A further claim is currently being prepared for an additional 230 cases which will be presented to the DCLG at the end of July 2017. These figures are in line with current success targets. In the meantime, we have made 5,340 attachments of qualifying families – i.e. those we have actively worked with or are currently working with in Phase 2 since September 2014. The number of active cases currently being worked on by West Sussex is 2,193.

Quarter 4 - March 2017

The Think Family programme has reached the end of the second full year of Phase 2, which lasts until March 2020. Up to 31st March 2017 the authority has claimed a total of 1,281 which is in line with the target. In the meantime, we have made 4,760 attachments of qualifying families – i.e. those we have actively worked with or are currently working with in Phase 2 since September 2014 which is well above target. The number of active cases currently being worked on by West Sussex is 2,113. It should be noted that the DCLG phase 2 (Sep 2014 –Mar 2020) target has reduced from 4,060 to 3,940.