Further early help for struggling families

Published: Wednesday, 9th February 2022

The city council’s cabinet has approved an extension of the early help programme that supports families in need.

Grant funding of £7.5m has been approved for a year from April 2022 for the Early Help Programme. The programme is delivered through the voluntary sector in 10 localities across the city, working alongside public sector partners.

Over the past 12 months the programme has helped more than 17,000 families, providing support, advice and guidance, including assessments, links to community resources and professional services.

The programme has:

  • Supported 7,200 families to receive financial assistance preventing homelessness and poverty and improving wellbeing
  • Helped 9,000 families receive help from community grants
  • Diverted 5,000 young people to mental health support at an early stage
  • Helped more than 1,000 families access online parenting support training
  • Trained 1,500 professions every month for the last year

Councillor Sharon Thompson, cabinet member for children and vulnerable families, said: “Families that are already struggling have been hit really hard by the pandemic which has exacerbated existing inequalities.

“It is more vital than ever that we get help to people as early as possible so we can prevent problems becoming more serious. This not only improves the quality of life for young people and families, giving them better life chances, it reduces the risk of more costly interventions later.”

In addition to the grant extension the city council will also be looking at longer-term delivery and funding for early help.

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