Support for Families

Strengthening Families Programme

Strengthening Families Programme (SFP) is the Isle of Wight’s response to the national 'Troubled Families' initiative.  It is a key component of the Early Help offer of services designed to reduce or prevent specific problems from getting worse and becoming deep seated or entrenched.

The programme covers the whole Island and is delivered by the charity called Barnardo’s.  It focuses on families who are currently experiencing difficulties and who meet at least two of the following eligibility criteria:

  1. Children are not in school when they should be (poor school attendance, exclusions).
  2. Parents and/or children are involved in crime and/or anti-social behaviour.
  3. Children who need help (for example, families identified by Early Help Locality Hubs as needing help, pre-school children who don’t thrive; children who are going missing; children on a Child Protection Plan, children in need)
  4. Adults out of work or at risk of financial exclusion and young people at risk of worklessness.  This includes young people at risk of becoming or already are NEET (not in education, employment or training), families at risk of homelessness, families with unmanaged debts, families who regularly use services of the Food Bank.
  5. Families affected by domestic violence and abuse.
  6. Parents and children with a range of health problems.  This can include adults and/or children with physical and/or mental health problem, adults and/or children with drug or alcohol problems, adults and/or children with concerns about dental health or unhealthy weight.

Once a family is identified as eligible for the programme, they will be referred for support via the weekly allocations panel.

Participation in the Strengthening Families Programme is voluntary. Families who get involved with the programme will be offered additional support to help them overcome the difficulties they face and to make real improvements in their lives.

Eligible families can be supported for 6 to 12 months.

For further information about how to refer families to the programme, please click here (PDF, 261KB, 4 pages) .