Shropshire Council

Troubled Families (national programme) - FAQs

What is the national Troubled Families programme?

Its aim is to focus on families with multiple high-cost problems, to turn their lives around and to reduce the burden of costs on the public sector.

What are the six criteria for eligibility to the programme?

Problem 1: crime and/or anti-social behaviour

  • Parents and/or children involved in crime and/or anti-social behaviour 
  • Parents leaving prison or serving community orders or suspended sentences 
  • Families with a potential crime problem and potentially wider issue

Problem 2: children not attending school regularly

  • Children missing 10% or more of sessions (authorised and/or unauthorised) and/or have received three fixed-term exclusions and/or permanent exclusion in the last three terms
  • Children missing education
  • Children in alternative provision (behaviour)

Problem 3: children who need help

  • Not taking up early years entitlement
  • Social, emotional and mental health problems
  • Needing early help
  • Missing and/or at risk of sexual exploitation
  • Child “in need”, or subject to an enquiry under Section 47, or subject to a child protection plan

Problem 4: worklessness (or risk of worklessness), or at risk of financial exclusion

  • Adults out of work and on benefits
  • Young people not in education, training or employment or at risk of worklessness
  • Families at significant risk of financial exclusion

Problem 5: domestic violence and/or abuse

  • Families experiencing, or at risk of experiencing, domestic violence and abuse. This includes perpetrators and victims.

Problem 6: health problems

  • Parents and/or children with a range of health problems
  • Three main priorities: mental health, substance misuse and vulnerable new mothers

What are the four principles of working within the programme?

1. There will have been an assessment that takes into account the needs of the whole family.

2. There's an action plan that takes account of all (relevant) family members.

3. There's a lead worker for the family who is recognised by the family and other professionals involved with the family.

4. The objectives in the family action plan are aligned to those in the Shropshire Strengthening Families through Early Help outcomes plan.

All cases should have whole family consent in place wherever possible.