An introduction to Supporting Families


What is supporting families? 

Supporting families is a programme administered by the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (DLUHC, formerly the Ministry for Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG)). 
Initially called the Troubled Families Programme, this was the first national, systematic approach to driving change for families with multiple issues. It focussed on changing the services that worked with the family in the wake of the London riots in 2011 to provide more joined-up support of their needs. By supporting the whole family, with different services working together, the hope was for betting outcomes for each family member and especially looking to break the cycle of problems for the younger generations. Under this initiative, each local authority was assigned a target number of families to identify, support and work with. 
In October 2022 the latest phase of the programme came into effect and brought in an additional £200M in investment. 
This new phase of the project has 2 key objectives:  

  • To see vulnerable families thrive and build their resilience by providing effective support to the whole family to prevent escalation in statutory services. 
  • To drive change locally and nationally, working with local partners to create services that can identify families in need and provide the right support at the right time while tracking outcomes in the long term. 

What Sentinel does to assist

Sentinel’s Data Platform is able to assist local authorities’ ability to bring information together to see the full family picture, as well as improving their overall use of data and improving their standing on the DLUHC data maturity model. 
Highlighting 6 key elements, this national data maturity model helps local authorities understand where they currently are with their data and what steps need to be taken next. 
The Sentinel Platform is underpinned with all 6 of these key elements to help make your data maturity progress faster, optimising your approach to delivering help to families. 

Data Maturity Diagram (1)

How the Sentinel Platform can help implement the Supporting Families initiative?


All your data in one place

One of the major challenges with gaining insight on families is dealing with the multiple data sources required to do so. The Sentinel Platform is able to collate all sources from any structured information, including core local authority systems such as Social Services and Housing, standalone databases and data sources from partners agencies such as the NHS, DWP and the police. 
The Platform also has configurable merging rules giving you the ability to automatically merge sources without consuming much time and leaving out any room for error that manual merging or bespoke software processing would bring.

Automated DLUHC returns and reports

Manually creating DLUHC returns, and reports can be a time-consuming process with plenty of room for error. The Sentinel Platform can create detailed reports with a single click, viewed in detail on screen with the ability to download locally for sending out at your convenience.

Complete, high-quality data

The Sentinel Platform allows you create configurable rules for cleansing, validating and profiling all incoming information while also letting you easily identify poor, and low-quality data sources.

Data protection

The Sentinel Platform is built around data protection as a design philosophy, this means that you will have all required controls in place and a full audit trail for any data processing carried out within the platform. 

What is the process of implementing the Supporting Families solution? 

The first step to getting a secure, efficient Supporting Families solution implemented is identifying all data sources that will be used for the programme and bringing them all together in one place, this also requires identifying which data is needed from the specific source systems. Creating custom, configurable rules with these data sources then allows you to configure the systems you are matching data with as well as creating data cleansing rules to get the most reliable data possible. 
Once all data sources are in place, cleansed and matching rules are applied the next step to implementing an effective Supporting Families solution is to then use all of the data you have in place to identify families in need. You can now use our in-built Supporting Families solution that tracks families and their progress. You will also be able to create customised scenarios to create custom Supporting Families thresholds using things such as crime, health and school. These will then create alerts within the platform to inform you of any families that are in need of support based off your rules. You will get to see a full timeline of events leading to any flag within the system to get a full view of the family or individual that you are being alerted to. 
With families in need now identified you will be able to use the platform to look in detail at a holistic view of each family member. This includes looking at a chronology of events for the family as well as being able to see any agencies that are involved in supporting them. Users can also find contact details for the key workers dealing with their case. With the monitoring within the platform, you are also able to see if there have been previous alerts to any family members within the Supporting Families initiative in the past. 
With all the support put in place after identifying and alerting partners to at risk families, you will then be able to continue to monitor and manage the support that is being provided as well as keeping in touch with key contacts in administering support. The platform also gives you the ability to make reports and PBR claims to keep in step with the DLUHC evidence requirements without creating extra work meaning your teams can focus on making sure more families are getting the support that they need. 

For more information on how the Sentinel Supporting Families Platform can help your implementation for the Supporting Families programme, or for a demo of the Platform, feel free to get in contact with us. 

Learn more about how Sentinel helps Local Authorities


Local Authorities

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Supporting Families

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Vulnerable Pupil Portal

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