Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 11°C

min temp: 5°C

ESTD 1874 Search

Tendring: Pioneering scheme to help families in need receives national praise and saves millions of pounds

10:23 03 March 2014

Lynda McWilliams, councillor at Tendring District Council

Lynda McWilliams, councillor at Tendring District Council

Archant

A pioneering scheme working with families with complex needs in north Essex is in the national spotlight after transforming dozens of troubled lives and saving millions of pounds.

shares

Tendring District Council’s (TDC) EssexFamily pilot saw innovative changes to the way services are delivered to improve families’ lives and reduce the burden they place on public spending. After the year-long pilot demonstrated “extremely positive” outcomes at a fraction of the previous costs, the council was invited to present its findings to a Parliamentary Select Committee.

It is now viewed as an exemplar of good practice in working with troubled families. Lynda McWilliams, who is responsible for well-being and partnerships at the council, said she was “thrilled” by the project’s success.

She added she hoped it could be developed across the country to help even more families.

“It’s proved its success with its excellent outcomes and the happy families that have come through the process, which is what it’s all about,” she said.

“Many of the families were absolutely thrilled by the possibilities to improve their lives and so grateful for the support. It’s been extremely positive throughout.”

The pilot saw 17 families work with the charity Barnado’s for a year, ending in September 2013, using funding allocated to TDC from Essex County Council and the former primary care trust.

Through the involvement of a dedicated support worker, acting “pro-actively rather than reactively” to assist with the families’ various needs, the project has delivered proven savings in social care, policing and health costs.

Families previously calculated to have cost more than £140,000 over the 11 months before the new approach, necessitated only £16,200 in spending during the six months under the pilot.

Extrapolated over the district’s 320 complex-need families, each estimated to cost an average of £139,000 per year, the total savings for the taxpayer could comfortably reach tens of millions of pounds.

Mrs McWilliams believes the success of the scheme comes from its the appointment of a single dedicated worker, linking together the key service providers, which she said were previously working more in isolation.

“It makes so much sense to have one person co-ordinating it all, which is why we’ve decided to reappoint the family worker post from October this year,” she said.

A review of the pilot reported to TDC’s cabinet members also highlights the savings achieved through the creation of more stable families by shifting from the “largely sustainable” reactive approach to a more proactive methodology.

“The EssexFamily pilot has shown that proactive costs fall considerable as stability returns,” the report states.

Mrs McWilliams said she now hopes that TDC’s innovative approach will help other councils to improve family outcomes and save money.

“If other districts see how well this has worked hopefully it will take off and help a lot more people,” she said.

shares

2 comments

  • 17 families with multiple and complex needs were supported by one service rather than many services. Positive outcomes could include; increased school attendance, reduced anti social behavior, returning to work or education.

    Report this comment

    Susan Bach

    Tuesday, March 4, 2014

  • somebody please explain to me what ever is this report about.17 families getting what for what.?

    Report this comment

    TERENCE MANNING

    Monday, March 3, 2014

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

Woman arrested over Leiston stabbings

A 27-year-old woman has been arrested in connection with the stabbing of two men in Leiston yesterday.

Colchester market manager Emma Powell, Town Crier Robert Needham, Cllr Anne Turrell, Mayor John Elliott, Mayoress Janet Elliott, Roman Centurion David Carter and President of the National Market Traders Federation visited stall holders at the launch of Colchester's new market on Saturday, 18 April.

Colchester’s new Charter Market was officially launched yesterday with a day of celebration.

Car crash. Library image.

Firefighters were called to a crash in Orchard Lane, Pakenham, last night.

David Carr, 43, and Marie Williams, 40, who both work for Greene King in Bury St Edmunds

Two brewery employees from Bury St Edmunds are taking on the London Marathon for Macmillan Cancer Support.

Trudi Nicholls of Fork Rent

With almost 30 years’ business experience in Suffolk, Trudi Nicholls comes across as a strong, confident businesswoman.

Stage 5 of the Womens Tour passes through Onehouse on their way to Bury St Edmunds last year

Schoolchildren will also be involved in an evening of activities in Bury St Edmunds ahead of the start of a major women’s cycling event.

Konrad Kantorowski flips from the wheel while coach John Colles looks on.

Heading down to the Kesgrave Sports Hall on a weeknight, you would probably be forgiven for expecting to find clubs practising regular sports. But sharing hall space with the local badminton team on a Thursday evening is a rather more unexpected gathering.

Paul Heiney filming for Secret Rivers in his Candaian-style canoe that has been stolen

Broadcaster Paul Heiney has made an appeal for thieves who stole one of his favourite boats from a Suffolk harbour to have a conscience and return it.

Photo issued by the National Crime Agency of fugitive Paul Monk, who featured on the UK's most wanted list on suspicion of drug trafficking, who has been captured in Alicante.

A fugitive on the UK’s most wanted list allegedly linked to a Colchester drugs haul has been arrested in Spain.

Most read

Most commented

Topic pages