Matching data to support troubled families: East Sussex County Council

East Sussex County Council worked with key partners to reduce the manual handling of data and to target families more effectively through its innovative use of digital technology.

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East Sussex County Council and its key partners, including the police, Department for Work and Pensions (DWP), National Health Service (NHS) and voluntary and community sector, ran a very successful first Troubled Families programme (TF1) that attracted national attention from central government. The partners took a broad transformational approach that aimed to embed family work across all teams, both in-house and in commissioned services, rather than focusing narrowly on the payment by results requirements of the TF1 programme. Building blocks included a shared workforce development approach designed in partnership, a shared set of core competencies and a shared training programme. The  county also signed information-sharing agreements with the police and probation services and now links through to the Child Protection Information System (CPIS).

As the county began to implement its Expanded Troubled Families Programme (TF2), it was keen to complement these valuable building blocks with a more innovative approach to using digital tools and technologies, with the aim of:

  • Reducing the manual handling of data by staff (at that time carried out in Excel, which had proved limited in its ability to handle large data sets and time-consuming in its support of data matching, cleansing and analysis).
  • Speeding up the matching processes, thereby making comprehensive data about the needs of families available earlier to frontline workers.
  • Using large data sets to identify needs and proactively target families rather than waiting for a referral

Full case study

Matching data to support troubled families

You can hear more from key people involved in the project via the videos below:

Alastair Lee - Data and Information Manager - East Sussex County Council

Karen Crouch - Family Keywork Project Officer - East Sussex County Council

Louise Carter - Assistant Director, Children’s Services - East Sussex County Council

Luke Ede - Family Keywork Data Manager - East Sussex County Council

Mark Woodgate - Head of Short-Term Keywork Team - East Sussex County Council

Vicky King - Family Keywork Practice Lead - East Sussex County Council