ESF Families programme supports increasing numbers towards employment

helping disad groups (300x253).jpg

The government has published the latest official figures for the ESF Families with Multiple Problems Programme. The programme which has been running since December 2011 and is funded by the European Social Fund (ESF) offers holistic support to some of the most disadvantaged families in the country, many of whom are facing multiple and often complex problems.

The programme, commissioned by the Department for Work and Pensions, which runs alongside the Department for Communities and Local Government’s Troubled Families scheme, has seen 14,220 people start receiving support within the last six months and has so far helped 11,020 participants move closer towards or into work. The programme is open to any family where one member is claiming a working age benefit, and it has seen rapid increases both in participation and success over the past six months.

Commenting on the latest statistics, Kirsty Mchugh, Chief Executive, Employment Related Services Association said:

“The Employment Related Services Association welcomes the latest statistics from the ESF Families with Multiple Problems Programme, which show the increased support being delivered to vulnerable families living across the country

“It is vital that family members with multiple and complex problems continue to be signposted to this important service. The holistic support they receive helps families move into employment, providing them with a route out of poverty.”

13 000 UK families supported by ESF programme

Families with Multiple Problems.jpg

Today saw the release of official government statistics for the ESF Support for Families with Multiple Problems programme. The scheme funded by the European Social Fund is designed to support and improve the lives of families across the UK struggling with complex issues, often related to and increased by entrenched worklessness.

Figures collected by ERSA, the welfare to work sector body, shows that around 13 000 families have been supported by the scheme since it began in 2012. Official government figures also released today show that the scheme is supporting families both towards and into work, while combining with other local services to ensure the whole family gains as much support as possible. ERSA data shows that:

  • Of the 37,178 families identified as needing support by the end of Sept 2013, 20,051 have gone on to participate in the scheme by the end of September 2013,
  • 12,864 families in total have taken steps to improve their lives – this means that they will have taken substantial steps to increase skills, sort out debts or undertake activities designed to improve family life and move them closer to the workplace.
  • Of these, 2,029 families have had at least one job start to date on the programme by the end of September 2013, a figure which is expected to rise substantially as family situations stabilise.  

Kirsty McHugh, Chief Executive of ERSA, commented on today’s statistics:

“ERSA is delighted to see that over half of the families starting the ESF Families programme are showing concrete signs of overcoming issues impacting upon family life. Providers of the programme are committed to working with local services to support families to establish routines, help their children in school and move towards and into employment. 

“ERSA does however have concerns that not enough families who could benefit from this voluntary programme are currently able to access the support available. We therefore need to do more to encourage local authorities and Jobcentre to identify and signpost these families towards the support available”