Building Better Opportunities for Troubled Families

Posted 28.02.2019

Troubled Families is a national programme overseen by the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government.  Nationally the programme aims to work with families to help them to ‘turn their lives around and achieve better outcomes including helping them into education, employment and training’.

In order to qualify for the programme families have to meet one or more of the eligibility criteria which are:

  • Child who need help
  • Crime
  • Domestic Violence
  • Unemployment
  • Health Issues
  • Education – children not attending school

In the D2N2 Local Enterprise Partnership area, Nottinghamshire has the largest number of identified families who meet the threshold for the troubled families programme (2015 – 2020).  In Nottinghamshire there are 5170 families and in Derbyshire there are 3380 families.

In Nottingham City and Derby City their Troubled Family Programmes are called Priority Families.  You can find out more about the programme here:


The concept of Troubled Families Programme is ‘Whole Family Working’.  The programmes are delivered by a range of partners in all areas including:

  • Health
  • Children’s Services
  • Education and Training Providers
  • Department of Work and Pensions
  • Domestic Violence and Substance Misuse Services
  • Youth Offending Teams

By working in this way the programme is able to work with all members of the family rather than just an individual.

As well as having an outcome measure for helping people to get into and sustain employment, the programme also measures debt advice given, health advice given, reduced antisocial behaviour and involvement in the criminal justice system and other outcomes.  You can find out more about the national evaluation of the programme here.

Stakeholder Managers in D2N2 work with the Troubled Families Programme in their areas.  In Nottinghamshire the work has involved developing an information sharing agreement to allow us to help the programme to meet its targets around sustainable employment. Working alongside three DWP Employability Officers Building Better Opportunities programmes are helping to increase the numbers into work.  Troubled Families Workers (or family support officers) can refer into all BBO programmes to provide additional support for the families they work with.  There are agreements in place in Nottinghamshire, Nottingham City and Derbyshire to refer to Troubled Families, with roll out expected in Derby in the near future.

We developed a case study, which was recently presented to Ministry of Housing Communities and Local Government, in their recent visit to the Nottinghamshire Programme and at a recent Public Health Summit on Work and Health, where Stakeholder Managers delivered a workshop.

Follow this link to read the Work, Health and Troubled Families case study.

BBO is having a significant impact on individual lives, supporting people to increase their confidence, independence and achieve their employment aspirations.

See what our participants have to say in these case studies …

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