Chapter 5: Evidencing successful family outcomes

Published 2 April 2022

Applies to England

Supporting Families programme guidance 2022 to 2025

What does this document cover?

Guidance relating to the delivery of Supporting Families in 2022-25

Who is it for?

Intended for use by local authority Supporting Families teams and their partners, auditors and analysts.

Evidencing successful family outcomes

The Supporting Families Outcomes Framework sets out the indicators of eligibility measured at a family level which determine if a family is eligible for the programme. The framework also provides a national set of success measures. The 10 headline outcomes are:

  • Getting a good education
  • Good early years development
  • Improved mental and physical health
  • Better managed substance use
  • Improved family relationships
  • Children safe from abuse and exploitation
  • Families diverted from crime
  • Safe from domestic abuse
  • Secure housing
  • Financial stability

For each of these headline outcomes the framework:

  • Sets out what each local authority and their partner agencies should be aiming to achieve with each family
  • Provides a basis against which each local authority can determine when successful family outcomes have been achieved and, therefore, when a results claim may be made for the family; and,
  • Provides a framework against which local authority internal auditors and the national Supporting Families assurance team may establish whether a result is valid.

Submitting successful family outcomes

The purpose of the framework is to provide a concise and clear account of the goals that each local authority and their partners strive to achieve with families, against which successful claims must be measured and verified.

In addition a successful family outcome can only be submitted for payment when the following terms are met.

A minimum of three family needs identified.

Each family must demonstrate a minimum of three eligibility criteria or family needs as set out in the national Supporting Families Outcomes Framework.

Supported through a whole family approach.

All families must have been supported by a lead practitioner, there must have been a whole family assessment and an action plan to address all the problems faced by the family, and the family must have received relevant support. As set out in this guidance (Chapter 4: Identifying and Working with Families) all families must also include a dependent child.

Outcomes achieved against each identified family need.

To claim a successful outcome, all identified family needs must have evidence of a corresponding outcome. The outcomes to be achieved are set out in the National Supporting Families Outcome Framework.

Progress against all headline outcomes.

As some family problems may not be evident at the point of identification and only become apparent when trust has been established with the family (e.g., domestic abuse) all the relevant outcomes within the Supporting Families Outcomes Framework should be revisited at this later point, when a fuller picture of the family is known – see the diagram below:

At the point of identification, based on information in local data sets, the Jones’ are known to have a child who is regularly missing from school and both parents are claiming out of work benefits. The family also have unmanageable debt.

3 out of 10 family needs

Following engagement, the team around the family begins work with the family and discovers the mum has a mental health problem and there is a history of domestic violence between the parents.

5 out of 10 family needs

To claim a result for a successful family outcome as defined by the National Supporting Families Outcome Framework evidence must be provided that the family have achieved successful outcomes against all identified family needs.

Outcomes achieved against family needs

Sustainment periods and regression checks must be completed.

Before submitting a claim for a successful family outcome, the following checks should be completed:

All outcomes must be achieved and evidenced at case closure. Where a particular outcome specifies a period of sustainment (e.g., ‘families diverted from crime’ and ‘safe from domestic abuse’), that must also be evidenced and can be done at any point after work has begun with the family.

At the point of submission there must have been no accepted re-referral into early help or children’s social care for a minimum of six months since closure of the family plan.

All children in the family have achieved 90% attendance for at least two consecutive terms prior to submission. Or, where a child was identified as attending for less than 50% of the time, at least a 30% improvement in attendance must be shown with a minimum of 50% average attendance, over at least 2 consecutive terms.

Reclaiming for families

Whilst it remains in the wider interests of local authorities and their partners to ensure that successful family outcomes are sustained, DLUHC recognise that there may be some circumstances in which families require additional support after a claim has been made for an outcome payment. This is particularly pertinent as families recover from the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.

A second claim may therefore be made for a family receiving support in the following circumstances:

  • It has been at least two years since a claim was made for a successful family outcome.
  • Any re-claims must relate to families recently worked with, families should have been open to services with support ongoing in the last two years.

Areas will also be asked to:

  • Where possible declare the number of ‘re-claims’ when submitting a claim for successful family outcomes. This may not always be possible due to local data retention policies.

Significant change in family composition

Where a claim has been made for a family but there has been a significant change to the composition of the family, a further claim may also be made. For example:

A child from a family where a claim has previously been made has gone on to have their own children and the family are being supported by services.

One adult in the family where a claim has previously been made has left and has now joined a new family who are being supported by services. A claim for a successful outcome can be made should the family demonstrate the required progress as set out in the National Supporting Families Outcomes Framework.

Suggested evidence sources

The national Supporting Families Outcomes Framework provides a number of evidence sources that may be used to evidence successful family outcomes. These are suggested evidence sources and local authorities may use alternative evidence, if agreed in advance with DLUHC.

Evidence sources may be updated by DLUHC if and when more robust, validated outcome measures are developed. This will be done in partnership with local authorities with any changes discussed in advance.