DCLG and ONS launch cross-government scheme to assess Troubled Families programme
The Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) announced plans to amalgamate data from different government departments and councils in order to assess the Troubled Families programme, which benefits from action and funding by various public services.
To ensure the money is being used to “best effect” and current policies are successful, the DCLG will now be able to collect and share evidence of the programme’s effectiveness with local authorities to improve services.
It will compare the progress of families who have undertaken the programme with those who have not, combining data from councils about families with information routinely collected from other departments.
In a DCLG privacy note, it said data being analysed includes school attendance reports, attainment information, details of criminal offences, welfare benefits data and employment status.
Although information being used for the research includes personal data held by local authorities, the DCLG has ensured that no individuals will be identifiable in published information.
The DCLG has also commissioned the Office of National Statistics (ONS) to carry out the assessment work and approach departments for sensitive information about individuals on the councils’ registers.
Cross-party information will be used to identify if the programme improved outcomes for families, such as reducing offending and truancy, improving children’s safety and families’ health, as well as getting people into work.
However progress reports will not directly affect any benefits, services or treatments received by anyone included in the research.
Troubled Families programme was launched in 2011 as a way to improve the lives of families with multiple and expensive problems across England, such as those who miss out on school, engage in crime, display physical and mental health problems, are unemployed or suffer domestic violence.
(Top image c. Clive Gee, PA Images)