The Surrey Family Support Programme works in partnership with families in every borough and district across Surrey.
What is the Family Support Programme?
The Surrey Family Support Programme (FSP) supports families to build on their strengths while helping them to overcome some of the concerns, difficulties, challenges or obstacles they may have in their lives. It uses a whole family approach involving everyone in the family including grandparents, parents, young people and children.
Our aim is to:
- enable you to feel good about your family and your local community
- empower all family members to build new skills
- help your family to have the confidence to go forward in life with the support it needs
How we can help
The programme will support you in areas that you have identified as being in need of support. We will encourage you to think about what might help you overcome these concerns and difficulties. Using these suggestions, we will create a plan that will support you in the best, most helpful way possible.
Areas in which the programme has helped families include:
- Housing - we can help with budgeting, benefits and managing your debts, essential furnishings and repairs, hygiene and cleanliness and community relationships.
- Keeping your family safe - help with your health and wellbeing, stress and depression, managing disabilities, eating and exercise, drinking or drugs.
- Couple relationships - help can be given regarding co-parenting and managing conflict.
- Parenting - we can give advice on relationships, communication, routines and children's behaviour at home.
- School - help regarding children and young people finding it difficult to make good progress at school.
- Difficult life events - advice on managing relationship breakdown, bereavement, trauma and loss, abuse.
- Moving towards employment - find out about training, CV and interview preparation, voluntary work experience and preparation for employment.
- Creating new opportunities - helping you get involved in community activities, connecting with others and making sure your children have access to activities.
The programme particularly helps families whose children or young people:
- have school attendance issues
- have behavioural difficulties at school that have led to exclusions
- have been in trouble in their local community with anti-social behaviour or offending
- are working age adults or young people who do not have access to training, voluntary work or employment
What can families expect from the programme?
Meeting your family coordinator
A family co-ordinator will meet with your whole family in your home. They will listen and hear how you would like things to change from the way they are now.
They will help you to identify your strengths and help you to think about how you might build on these to make your family stronger and your life better. They will listen to your concerns and worries and help you think about when they started and how they might be overcome in the future. This information will inform an Early Help Assessment to find out what support you need.
Meeting your team around the family
Your family co-ordinator will set up a meeting between you and staff from other services. You may have been working with some of these services in the past and new ones may also be invited. These people will form a team around the family (TAF) providing different expertise and support so we can work together to meet your goals. Meetings will happen in your child's school or a community centre.
Your TAF will discuss your family health and wellbeing in many different areas with you, so they can find out the best ways to help and support you. This discussion will help to show the areas different family members feel positive about as well as their issues and concerns.
Your TAF will meet with you every six weeks to help and support your progress for up to one year. Your family will have your own family support and review plan so everyone can check your progress across the year and encourage you. Your family co-ordinator will work with you, within your home, for a three-month period to help you make the initial changes that will allow you to meet your goals.
You will see them for a few hours a week and they will coach, mentor and support you through the difficult times. We recognise it is hard to change, even for the better! They will help your family to keep a support diary and attend appointments.
What commitment will the team give me and my family?
Our commitment is to work with your whole family, actively involving you all in the decisions that will affect your life.
What is expected from me and my family?
By working with us we would like you to agree to:
- Make and sign a family agreement
This will be an agreement between all your family members to work with the FSP. It will set out where you are now, what you are aiming for, what support you will be offered and how you will get to where you want to be.
- Make and sign a support plan
The support plan will be written and agreed with you and your TAF. We will need your permission to share information we may have about you with other services who can offer support to your family.
- Choose change
We know that you want the best for your family and look forward to you joining the FSP.
How can I get support from the FSP?
You can ask for help through the Surrey Children's Single Point of Access (C-SPA). Or ask a professional working with your family to complete a request for support form. They may complete an Early Help Assessment to attach to the request.
The C-SPA will review the request and allocate your family to the most appropriate service. For a professional to request support for you from another service, you should have agreed that you would welcome the extra help and given consent to share your information.
Professionals can refer to the Effective Family Resilience level of need document to find out if a family would meet the criteria for support from the FSP.