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Troubled Families Support (Birmingham)

Birmingham City Council requested support from Interface to increase the capacity of the team leading the Troubled Families programme. There was strong strategic direction and good leadership but they needed help to shape the operations of the work and ensure that the vision and the delivery were cohesive.

Interface created a cohesive document to act as a script for all the partnership areas to understand the ethos and key messages of the programme. This included clear sections on the role of each of the teams working on the programme including the department of work and pensions, housing, youth offending services and social care. Interface and Birmingham City Council felt it important to ensure this document complimented the wider workforce delivery programme and was therefore in line with the Level 4 Working with Parents training.

Interface worked with the teams in their new whole family roles and supported through coaching, question answering and through shaping process. We identified systems blocks and worked with lead officers and the strategic steering group to dynamically change business as usual and work through any resistance. Birmingham were therefore able to implement a new way of working that transformed services which has placed them in an excellent position for phase two of the Troubled Families programme.

In Birmingham we:

  • Helped staff understand their new roles and listened to what had to change to make it work.
  • Encouraged teams to improve their recording and use of data to:
    • assist in the wider children social care  single view of child programme
    • demonstrate outcomes
    • provided regular input and expert knowledge to the strategic steering group
    • supported meetings and dialogue with department of communities and local government
    • adapted their internal training to ensure that the troubled families message ran throughout the material through examples and use of language
    • developed a script for roll out to all front line users
    • recruited a significant number of workers – we had involvement in this from shortlisting to induction both internally and as a wider external recruitment campaign
    • mapped pathways into the troubled families programme