Cabinet Office review finds government targets fail to promote whole families approach

Government targets are failing to motivate agencies to support families as a whole rather than their individual members separately, a Cabinet Office review launched by social exclusion minister Hilary Armstrong (pictured) claimed today.

The families at risk review found there was no shared framework of outcomes for families and therefore no agreed process by which to measure progress towards shared goals. This steers service providers towards working with individuals rather than families.

The review called for better integration of such services and a shift in professionals’ mindset to ensure families are treated as a whole.

This approach has been adopted in children’s services, under the Every Child Matters agenda, but it needed to be extended to all services working with at risk families, the review said.

It was published as the government announced £6m to fund pilots to provide more joined-up support for the most chronically excluded adults, also as part of its social exclusion agenda.

They will be targeted at people with a range of problems, such as rough sleeping, addictions and mental health problems, who the government say lead lives that are damaging to themselves and others, and have significant public funding spent on them, often to little effect.

The 12 projects, which will receive the funding over the next three years, will be run by voluntary bodies, including Turning Point and homelessness charity St Mungo’s, and councils.

They include outreach services to support rough sleepers and the long-term unemployed and projects which employ staff who are former service users.

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The social exclusion action plan: pros and cons
Time for Armstrong to deliver

Contact the author
 Amy Taylor



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