Liverpool Families Programme

One of Liverpool City Council’s aims is to empower people to enjoy the best possible quality of life and reach their full potential by:

  • Reducing inequalities by improving life chances and protecting and promoting good health.
  • Giving children the best possible start in life.
  • Raising skills and educational attainment for all age groups.
  • Promoting independence and independent living.
  • Protecting and supporting our most vulnerable residents.

What is Liverpool Families Programme?

Liverpool Families Programme (Phase One) was established in 2012 and is Liverpool City Council’s response to Department for Communities and Local Government’s initiative for working with families with complex and multiple problems.

Phase Two of the Programme commenced in April 2015. 

By using DCLG’s funding, the Council’s aims listed above, and a “whole family approach”, we provide a coordinated response through multi agency teams to meet the needs of the family. The combined work of the multi agency teams is proving successful and effective.

The priorities of the Families Programme are:

  • A whole family approach (assessment and planning) to underpin service design, development and procurement.
  • Prevention and early intervention, using an intelligence led approach to target our resources and opportunities effectively.
  • Aligning social and economic outcomes and activity, with a  focus on employability and skills particularly for young people.
  • Better coordination of public sector service planning and investment to improve outcomes and value for money.
  • Securing sustainability by developing individual and community resilience with a focus on doing ‘with’ and not ‘to’ or ‘for’.

The Families Strategic Group has also agreed the additional priority issues as: mental health, early years, NEETs (Not in Employment, Education or Training) and 'Transitions'. 

Who is involved?

The Families Programme team work at a strategic and operational level to enable the transformation of whole family working, and translate this into results for the families such as training or employment outcomes, improved school attendance for the children and a reduction in anti social behaviour.

The Families Programme includes:

  • The Families Strategic Group (FSG) – strategic representatives from Merseyside Police, health providers, probation, prison service,  Liverpool Primary Headteachers Association, Association of Liverpool Special Schools Heads, Liverpool Learning Partnership, Liverpool Association of Secondary Headteachers, Children’s Services, Adults Services, Community Services, Public Health, Voluntary Services, and Housing providers.
  • Family Intervention Programme team.
  • Schools Family Support Service.
  • Multi Agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH).
  • Early Help Hubs and EHAT training.
  • Enhanced Midwifery Team.
  • School nursing posts (mental health expertise).
  • MALS (Merseyside Mentor Achieve Learn Support) which reduces reoffending by improving offenders’ self worth, self motivation, desire to change and willingness to engage with agencies.

What is the money spent on?

Funding proposals are submitted in advance of the bi monthly meeting and shared with the group. The group meet and discuss the proposals. The proposals must meet the criteria of the programme in order to have funding approved. To date approved projects include:

IT projects

Schools Pupil Tracking Tool – An IT tool developed for schools by Liverpool City Council which identifies services and lead professionals involved with a child eg educational psychologists, social services, SEND.

I2 Analyst software – used by the Families Programme to improve data and intelligence gathering and analysis which contributes to our understanding of what works, and why.

Research projects

Families Programme Evaluation – an in depth analysis of the Liverpool Schools Consortia, and the performance of the Families Programme conducted by the University of Wolverhampton and the University of Northumbria.

Learning Disability Insight research – Analysis of the transition from children’s services to adults services for young disabled adults, and the opportunities to improve service provision and delivery.

Community involvement projects

Parenting strategy – Working with Barnardo’s to engage local families and include their local knowledge and experiences to help define a core offer of support to help develop resilient and resourceful parents.

Reader Organisation – 6 month long weekly shared reading groups, and bespoke complementary workforce development for Family Support Workers and other staff working with families working through recovery and rehabilitation.

Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE) awareness training – these sessions were delivered to schools to raise awareness of CSE and how to report it.

Funded services

Family Intervention Programme team – this team aims to prevent involvement in crime, with a particular focus on gun and gang crime, through a support and challenge approach, sometimes resulting in the use of sanctions and enforcement to act as an incentive to change.

School Family Support Service - this team provides an outreach family support service to families with children of school age (5 – 19 years) as identified by schools. It is a preventative service and focuses on families where there is no current social work involvement.

Adult learning - work with adults within a family setting, and linked with the School Family Support Service, to enable them to progress their education, training and employment ambitions.

Multi Agency Safeguarding Hubs (MASH) project – this work is focused on delivering more in- depth multi-agency risk assessments where children and adults are identified as being at risk in order to target interventions more effectively. It includes work around the Early Help Assessment Tool, Levels of Need Guidance, the establishment of a multi-agency co-located team as part of Children and Adult safeguarding 'front door' arrangements, and workforce development to enable frontline practitioners to strengthen their own risk assessment arrangements.

Community Capacity Development - work with the Hearty Lives Project in Liverpool to support the employment of young people, and engage young people who have experience of the care system, in identifying how they can improve Health and Wellbeing outcomes.

Community Capacity Development - a programme of work in conjunction with voluntary sector colleagues to strengthen whole-family working, local networking and workforce development opportunities for voluntary, community and faith sector practitioners who work with families.

Operation Encompass, Merseyside Police - initiative that focuses on coordinating information to schools regarding children and young people who have been present when Police have been called out to a domestic abuse incident.

Early Help strategy implementation - The aim is to enable families to become stronger and more resilient by providing access to co-ordinated early help (identification, assessment & intervention) and consequently reduce the demand for costly reactive services. The work has focused on developing the revised Early Help Assessment arrangements (including the EHAT tool) and supporting the development of three locality-based Early Help Hubs.

Multi agency workforce development and culture change – to share a consistent message about what is needed to support a whole family approach when working in multi-agency settings, educating the workforce about the benefits of working to a whole family approach when working with families or commissioning services; and to have the skills, confidence and knowledge to challenge and support effectively (families and partners).

The National Impact Study (NIS)

This study asks us to share anonymised data about the families we help with the Department for Community and Local Government. Find out more by reading the documents below or contact us.

Useful documents

Liverpool Families Programme Outcomes Plan 2015-2020.