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 are the programme priorities?

Phase One started in 2012 and was Liverpool City Council’s local response to the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government’s initiative for working with families with complex and multiple difficulties.

Phase Two started in April 2015 and aligned with the Early Help Strategy to support families to become stronger and more resilient. Work has focused upon developing a multi-agency team approach to support families known as an Early Help Assessment and supporting the development of three community-based Early Help Hubs to provide a coordinated response within the community, which is proving successful and effective.

The priorities of the programme are:

  • a whole family approach through 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’

Who is involved?

The programme reports to the Assistant Director of Early Help and consists of three teams which include Programme and Projects, Data and Intelligence and Workforce Development.

The role of the team is strategic, helping to influence and drive transformation across whole family working. The programme has an active partnership board called the Families Strategic Group which places a focus on local improvements across mental health, early years, NEETs (Not in Employment, Education or Training) and transitions. The group board has 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
  • Merseyside Fire and Rescue
  • Liverpool City Council's Children’s Services, Adult Services, Community Services and Public Health
  • voluntary sector, community sector and housing providers

What is Earned Autonomy status?

In April 2018 the programme was awarded Earned Autonomy (EA) status in recognition of the robust partnership work.

EA provides an upfront investment model in contrast to the traditional payment by result funding. It enables greater flexibility and the opportunity to invest at scale in new working practices.

Key themes for EA include building family resilience, up-skilling the partnership workforce and investing in a family intelligence system. Initiatives that have been introduced include:

  • therapy services in early help to provide support and repair relationship breakdowns.
  • restorative practice to support behaviour change within schools and complemented with a parenting and wider workforce offer.
  • whole school approach to mental health and emotional wellbeing through the development of policies, toolkits and training to support schools and the introduction of mental health first aiders.
  • citywide school attendance strategy multi-agency partnership approach and the introduction of an accredited Kite Mark for schools.
  • transitions and reading - 100 reading clubs which have engaged 1,100 vulnerable children and young people have been established. Summer schools have supported 240 vulnerable pupils transferring from primary to secondary school and a common transfer form is now in use across all schools    
  • exclusions in primary and secondary schools introduction of family re-integration workers to improve relationships and tackle rising volumes of exclusions.
  • multi-agency workforce development to up-skill the partnership workforce about the benefits of working in a whole family approach and providing the skills, confidence and knowledge to challenge and support effectively.
  • family intelligence system to automate local data, target need and inform service commissioning.

What are the programme priorities for 2020/21?

Phase Two of the programme has been extended until 31st March 2021. Initiatives will focus on early intervention and include:

  • therapy services in early help which will support adult mental health
  • parent infant mental health to provide therapeutic community-based support to vulnerable parents and infants in the perinatal period
  • maternity referral service to focus upon the needs of families with vulnerable children aged 0-4
  • employment and skills to engage and progress young people into good quality employment using a talent pipeline approach
  • early intervention adolescent services for vulnerable children at risk of exploitation
  • early help multi-agency practice to support the reduction of children coming into care and to improve the quality of assessments and interventions that are undertaken with families

The National Impact Study (NIS)

This study asks us to share anonymised data about the families we help with the MHCLG. Find out more by reading the documents below or contact us.

Useful documents