Research and analysis

Helping families thrive: lessons learned from the Child Poverty Pilot Programme

A guide based on evaluation evidence to support families to overcome the causes and consequences of disadvantage and poverty.



This guide is about how to support families, parents and children to overcome the causes and consequences of disadvantage and poverty. It suggests how local authorities and their statutory and non-statutory partners, including the voluntary, community and independent sectors, can work together effectively to achieve better outcomes. It should inform existing provision, new initiatives and commissioning strategies.

The guide is based on evaluation evidence from the Child Poverty pilots that the government’s Child Poverty Unit funded from 2009 to 2011. It includes materials developed by practitioners delivering the pilot activities.

The pilot programme supported low-income parents at different distances from the labour market and families with emerging, as well as multiple, problems.

The Child Poverty pilot evidence base provides a wealth of evidence on how to ensure support for families is effective. The guide is divided into 2 halves. The first half provides examples on how to ensure the support received by families is fit for purpose and achieves the desired outcomes, ie reducing child poverty. It provides guidance on 4 key steps to effective delivery:

  • target accurately
  • engage effectively
  • support holistically
  • enable families to thrive

The second half focuses the foundations for effective practice to support families. These are:

  • measuring success
  • ensuring sustainability
  • developing the workforce
  • establishing effective partnerships

Throughout the guide logic models are used as the basis for engaging, communicating and evaluating effectively.

The Child Poverty Unit will promote the guide with practitioners working in local authorities and voluntary, community and independent sectors interested in tackling child poverty. The Child Poverty Unit wil also use the guide to influence the second national strategy.