Havant MP Alan Mak has praised the Supporting Families Programme (SFP), after meeting with councillors and officers that run the scheme locally.
The scheme, funded by central Government and run by Hampshire County Council working closely with a wide range of partner organisations, aims to provides support to local families with persistent problems such as mental health issues, poor school attendance, or anti-social behaviour. Since being created in 2012, the SFP has so far has engaged more than 5,000 families - including 600 in the Havant area - with the ambition to help 7,000 by 2020.
Alan said: “I’m delighted the Government continues to fund the Supporting Families team and it was great to meet those behind this excellent programme. The work being done is a great example of the wider community benefitting from a great public service. They do a great job of putting these families back on track but benefits the local community too by reducing anti-social behaviour and helping all our local children to fully reach their potential and prepare for the future.”
Research commissioned by the SFP shows that 50 per cent of troubled families have a child or children with low school attendance, and therefore a priority of the scheme is getting children back into school, so they can complete their education in a stable environment. The SFP is also estimated to have prevented 40 Hampshire children from going into the care of the local authority.
The SFP has received £9 million of government funding since it began in 2012, £2 million of which has been paid for by the estimated savings the scheme has created by keeping families in a stable financial position, which has reduced dependency on benefits.
Hampshire County Council’s executive member for Public Health, Cllr Patricia Stallard, said: “It was great to brief Alan about the fantastic work being undertaken to help improve the lives for thousands of families across the county. This scheme is benefiting families across Hampshire and Havant, improving mental health, reducing benefit dependency, and most importantly helping young people to develop in a stable family environment.”
Photo caption: Alan Mak MP with Mel Stanford, Contract Manager for CSW Cllr Patricia Stallard and Ian Langley, Strategic Lead for the Supporting Families Programme