Dorset Families Matter
Dorset Families Matter is a major partnership programme that has been set up to deliver the government's Troubled Families agenda.
The programme started in April 2012 and has expanded to include a broader range of families. The programme aims to support families who experience multiple and complex challenges in order to help them improve their well-being.
Professionals supporting families
If you are a professional currently supporting a family, you can find additional information and required forms in our professionals section. This page requires a log in, therefore if you are a professional and would like access, please contact the Dorset Families Matter team.
Visit our Dorset Families Matter professionals page .
The national context
The programme is part of a significant national initiative which has the drive and commitment to develop new ways of working with families and deliver real, lasting positive change. If you would like to read more about the programme nationally please see GOV's support for families page (opens in a new window).
How does it work locally?
At the heart of the programme are workers and lead professionals taking a whole family approach, to help families overcome challenges and work towards their own positive outcomes. The 'what works for troubled families' document (pdf, 187kb) (opens in a new window) provides details of a whole family approach.
A range of resources are available to support families identified for the programme. The level of the resources made available is dependent on the needs of each family. These resources include:
- Key Workers
- Family Link Workers
- Employment Advisors
- Health Workers
- Family Support Packages
For more information on see Dorset Families Matter resources (pdf, 175kb) (opens in a new window).
Who is eligible?
To be included in the programme families must have dependent children and must be facing issues in at least to problem areas. These problem areas include:
- the parents and children are involved in crime or antisocial behaviour
- the children have not been attending school regularly
- there are children who need help
- the adults are out of work or at risk of financial exclusion, and the young people are at risk of unemployment
- the families are affected by domestic violence and abuse
- the parents and children have a range of health problems
View the full list of indicators of eligibility (pdf, 147kb) (opens in a new window).
Can I refer families?
The majority of families will be identified centrally through the matching of data from different partner agencies. However, if you are working with a family that you think meets the stated criteria then you may be able to refer them as Dorset Families Matter is an approach and not a service. Check with the Dorset Families matter team first as the family may already been known to us.
Any nomination will need to be supported by evidence that the family meet the criteria and this will be centrally checked before a family is accepted onto the programme. See the nomination and consent form (pdf, 219kb) (opens in a new window).
A range of public sector and voluntary and community sector partners are engaged in the Dorset Families Matter project. We have work going on all the time to extend and improve the involvement of our partners. Our current partners include:
- NHS colleagues
- Dorset Police
- housing associations
- district and borough councils
- anti-social behaviour teams
- schools and colleges
- domestic abuse services
- voluntary sector organisations
- the Youth Offending Team
- County Council's Family Support service
Local delivery groups have been established in each district council area to support and oversee effective multi-agency working on the programme. If you represent a partner agency or work with families in a specific area and would like to join one of these groups, please contact the Dorset Families matter team team.
Information we hold and data sharing
Families are identified for this programme through sharing information from a number of different public bodies. These might include records in relation to:
- educational attendance and behaviour
- aspects relating to employment
- involvement with the police
- courts and probation
- anti-social behaviour
- violence in the home
- substance misuse
- social care
- vulnerable children
- health issues
Any family supported intensively under the programme will be asked to sign an information sharing consent form and the family's allocated key worker will explain their rights under the Data Protection Act.
For more information about how we use and share data, please see our 2015 Privacy Notice (pdf, 633kb) (opens in a new window) and our FAQs for data usage (pdf, 25kb) (opens in a new window).
Governance of the Dorset Families Matter programme
The Dorset Families Matter project is overseen by a sub-group of the Dorset Children's Trust. The membership of the Dorset Families Matter Strategic Board is set out as part of the Terms of Reference. See the Dorset Families Matter Board - FINAL March 2015 (pdf, 39kb) (opens in a new window).
The Strategic Board meets quarterly and is supported by an Operational Board which meets bi-monthly. For more information, see the agreed TOR DFM Operational Group for Phase 2 (pdf, 25kb) (opens in a new window) or contact the Dorset Families matter team.