Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 27°C

min temp: 19°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

A forest fire near Kingfisher Lake

Crews were called just before 2pm to the fire near Kingfisher Lake, just off the B1107.

The Quay Theatre in Sudbury.

Only half of those responding to an online survey about Sudbury have visited historic market town’s key tourist attraction, figures have revealed.

South Suffolk MP James Cartlidge

A Suffolk MP and former housing entrepreneur has claimed staff would turn down a pay rises because they would lose their tax credits.

Ipswich MP Ben Gummer.

Ipswich MP Ben Gummer has blamed lost paperwork at the official parliamentary watchdog for the suspension of his official expenses card earlier this year.

The launch of Jump Street in Colchester, the first dedicated trampoline park. Josh Newman (left) and Luke Bennett in action.

Essex’s first purpose-built trampoline park has opened up.

Crowds of people head to the beach at Felixstowe to enjoy the scorching temperatures.
Ken Webb,Livia Button and Sandra Webb celebrating the hot weather.

Temperatures as high as 28 degrees have already been recorded in both counties, with Suffolk predicted to peak at 31.

Emergency services in Upper Brook Street in Ipswich

Fire investigators are looking into the cause of a blaze in a block of flats in central Ipswich which caused major disruption this lunchtime.

See Luke Hyam's holiday snaps here

Over the past few weeks the Ipswich Town squad have been enjoying the break in the football calendar, with many jetting off on holiday with friends and girlfriends.

West Suffolk College Achievement Awards at Bury Cathedral. West Suffolk College Principle Dr Nikos Savvas.

Challenges in life and daunting efforts against adversity were recognised at an annual awards ceremony.

View of Alton Water taken from near Lemons Hill Bridge at Tattingstone. Photograph: KEITH MINDHAM

A body pulled from the water at Tattingstone last night has been identified by police as a 22-year-old man from the Ipswich area.

Most read

Most commented

Topic pages