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Embed the 'Think Family' Approach

This is a joint priority objective with the Children and Families Partnership.

Why this is a priority objective

A small number of families require a disproportionate amount of support. In the case of families facing multiple challenges, they often receive services from several separate agencies in response to a range of needs. Think Family focuses specifically on the needs of these families.

Think Family is an approach that requires all agencies to consider the needs of the whole family when working with individual members of it. It encourages a broader view of need than that normally adopted. To 'Think Family' is to understand that children's problems do not sit in isolation from their parents, and that parents' problems impact on their children. This approach ensures that all family members are able to get the support they need, at the right time, to help their children achieve good outcomes. All agencies are encouraged to 'Think Family' and to coordinate their efforts. This means making sure that families receive coordinated, multi-agency, solution focused support.

For many families their complex needs can result in offending behaviour or victimisation and so it is important that Think Family is embedded and integrated into the service models used by the Safe Durham Partnership. Equally, this approach can have a significant impact on crime and disorder outcomes and presents an opportunity to improve performance.

The 'Think Family' approach is intrinsically linked to our Stronger Families Programme. This programme is known nationally as 'The Troubled Families Programme' and the Government estimates County Durham has around 1320 'Troubled Families' with a range of multiple and complex needs. These are not new families but families who have been known to services, often for many years, and despite numerous interventions their problems persist, and are in many cases intergenerational, leading to cycles of disadvantage for such families.

Our outcome is to:

  • Ensure the most vulnerable families are diverted from offending and anti-social behaviour.