Find out if you're eligible for help and support from our Connecting Families team. We work with families who have multiple or complex needs and require intensive interventions to help them achieve positive outcomes for themselves.
What we mean by complex or multiple issues and needs
When we talk about 'complex issues' or 'multiple needs' we are usually referring to someone who has two or more needs affecting their physical, mental, social or financial wellbeing. These needs typically interact with and exacerbate one another which can cause several problems at the same time.
These needs can include:
- Not engaging with school, exclusion or low school attendance
- Young parents and children under 5 years old who need support
- Mental or physical health conditions that are long-standing or memory loss caused by medication or illness
- Drug or alcohol dependency
- Children and young people at risk of abuse and neglect
- SEND or learning difficulties
- Reading and writing difficulties (or English not being a first language)
- Crime or anti-social behaviour
- Domestic violence or family conflict
- Crime or anti-social behaviour
- Financial issues or long-standing debt
- Housing issues (unsuitable, overcrowding or at risk of eviction)
To be eligible for our help and support, you must live in Bath and North East Somerset and at least three of the following outcomes or family needs apply to you:
1. Getting a good education
Connecting Families aims to work with families to support children and young people to increase their attendance at school and improve the life outcomes of children by requiring sustained good attendance for all children in the family, across two consecutive school terms.
2. Good Early Years Development
Support for families may begin before a child is born and expectant or new parents who require additional support may be eligible for the programme. Providing guidance for parents and developmental support for babies and young children is essential for delivering strong health and educational outcomes for children, ensuring they have a positive start in their early years.
3. Improved mental and physical health
Connecting Families aims to reach families with a range of physical and mental health needs. We recognise that not all problems can be solved or improved in all circumstances, but in those instances lead practitioners should be aiming to see some level of improved wellbeing before recording a successful outcome.
4. Promoting recovery and reducing harm from substance misuse
Recovering from addiction and substance misuse is complex and, in many cases, recovery is not a linear process. One outcome could be seeing a reduction in substance use alongside a better understanding of the associated risks. We recognises the importance of supporting the children who are affected by parental substance misuse, by ensuring that assessment and support for an ‘affected by’ child is included on the predetermined national outcomes.
5. Improved family relationships
Conflict in relationships is expressed through many different behaviours which can have an impact on families’ lives. Some level of arguing and conflict between parents is often a normal part of everyday life. However, there is strong evidence to show how inter-parental conflict that is frequent, intense and poorly resolved can have a significant negative impact on children’s mental health and long-term life chances.
6. Children safe from abuse and exploitation
Children who experience, or who are at risk of, abuse, neglect and exploitation are amongst the most vulnerable in society. Children and young people could be at risk from harms within the or outside of the home, or both.
7. Crime prevention and tackling crime
This outcome covers young people who are involved in crime and anti-social behaviour as well as young people who are at risk of becoming involved in crime. It also covers adults who are involved in crime and anti-social behaviour. This reflects the evidence that parental anti-social or criminal behaviour is a significant factor in youth offending. The framework also reflects the importance of tackling the causes of reoffending - unemployment, insecure accommodation and substance.
8. Safe from domestic abuse
All forms of domestic abuse can have a significant impact on children and young people, including coercive and controlling behaviour. Children and young people may experience domestic abuse directly, including in their own intimate relationships, or indirectly due to the impact the abuse has on others such as the non-abusive parent.
9. Secure housing
Secure and suitable housing provides stability for families. It is linked to positive health and wellbeing outcomes, provides a base for children to attend school, for parents to sustain employment and for the family to contribute to their communities. The Connecting Families' multi-agency and early intervention approach will help to identify vulnerable families and young people with housing issues or at risk of homelessness. It will also support them to resolve these issues by maintaining existing housing or, if necessary, helping them to secure suitable settled accommodation.
10. Financial Stability
Connecting Families continues to prioritise employment and financial stability as these are key factors in building families’ resilience. Adults on the programme were five times more likely to be claiming benefits, and over ten times more likely to be claiming Jobseeker’s Allowance compared to the general population. Feedback from local authorities and their partners delivering the programme suggest it has a transformative impact not only on family outcomes, but also on the approach and design of local family services.
If you're eligible for help, one of our keyworkers will visit your family for an introductory meeting, and once you have given them signed consent, the keyworker will visit your family once or twice a week. During these visits they will offer to help or support you with the following things:
- Address issues identified to make a positive difference and signpost you to the relevant organisations or professionals
- Provide information around Connecting Families events or positive activities you can attend
- Attend appointments (we can help with public transport if your car is not available and appointments or events are too far to walk to)
- Provide Food Bank vouchers or Welfare Support applications if you need them and are entitled to receive financial assistance (you will need to provide bank details and statements)
The key worker will be your main point of contact for any advice or concerns you have which you're unable to resolve without support. They will also be available for any professionals involved.
The key worker will do the following:
- Ask you and your family questions to help create a family early help assessment
- Arrange a regular team to attend family meetings (these can include a health visitor, school nurse, teacher, or anyone directly involved with your family) to meet at a neutral venue - other professionals might be asked to contribute in writing (for example, GP or consultants if involved with family)
- Compile a family outcome plan with all family members (this plan will include all required actions to help make positive improvements)
- Review the family outcome plan regularly to check progress made and add any new actions
Our keyworker will work with you to address the issues identified to make a positive difference. Most of the visits will be in your family home, but when we invite you to our council offices, we will ensure that they are accessible and safe.
- To work with us and the services we engage for you.
- To be open, honest and share information so our keyworker can get you the right support.
- To attend meetings and appointments.
- To work with us to create a family assessment and outcome plan.
- To engage with the family outcome plan to meet the agreed actions (such as, always getting children to school on time).
- To work with us until significant changes take place and improvements are sustained.
To request help or support from our Connecting Families team, please download and complete our referral form. Send your completed form by email to firstname.lastname@example.org, or post it to Connecting Families, Lewis House, Manvers Street, Bath BA1 1JG.
All Connecting Family referrals go to the Early Help Allocation Panel (EHAP) to ensure we provide the right help and support to meet your needs.
We will let you know the date of our next EHAP meeting within five working days, where we will discuss your referral. We will let you know the outcome within another five working days of this meeting.
We might pass your referral to another service if we're full or if your need is more suitable for that service, but we will keep you updated throughout the process. If you have any queries, email us at email@example.com or call us on 01225 39 69 31.