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This information is aimed at professionals who wish to understand more about the Families Matter programme. If you need to know more about accessing support for a family, here's how to make a referral for early help.

The support offered by our Early Help Hub includes the successful Families Matter programme, which is Southampton’s response to the Government’s Troubled Families agenda. Families who are assessed for early help will be accepted onto the Families Matter programme if it is appropriate for their needs and they meet the criteria. See more information in the leaflet for practitioners. The Families Matter programme focuses on several strands which are summarised below and explained in more detail in the outcomes framework.

Employment and Progress to work

This strand addresses unemployment, debt and meeting basic needs. We will work with the family to help them to develop skills and help move them into work and off of ‘out of work’ benefits. We will also help them access support to manage debt, and if necessary help them access support to meet basic needs. We have three Employment Advisors seconded from the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) to work with families who are looking for employment, as well as access to City Deal workers supporting NEETS (young people Not in Education, Employment or Training).

Education and Attendance

All children in the family need to be attending school regularly (defined by the Department for Education as at least 90% of all available sessions).

Domestic Abuse

Where domestic abuse is identified as an issue for the family, we will work with the family, with additional support from other agencies, to reduce or eliminate the number of incidents.

Crime and anti-social behaviour (ASB)

We will work with the family to reduce or eliminate crime and anti-social behaviour.

Family health

We will work with families to ensure that everyone is registered with a GP, and that any clients with mental health, drugs or alcohol issues are accessing treatment and support. We will also ensure that pregnant teenagers and young mothers are accessing appropriate support.

Contact details

To find out more or refer a family to the Early Help Hub, which can include acceptance onto the Families Matter programme if appropriate, please contact our team. We are available Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm (closed on bank holidays).

Telephone: 023 8083 3311

Email: EarlyHelpHub@southampton.gov.uk