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Organisation: Family Focus

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About Family Focus

The Troubled Families programme known as Family Focus in Somerset is a national initiative, funded by central government and championed by Community Secretary Eric Pickles, that aims to help families in crisis and reduce their dependency on public services.

A 'Troubled Family' is defined as a family that has high unemployment, anti-social or offending behaviour and children that have a high number of exclusions and/or unauthorised absences from school.

Government have estimated that there are 870 troubled families in Somerset. Each of these families cost tax payers around £75,000 a year - most being spent on reacting to, rather than getting to the root cause of the problem.

Across Somerset, Taunton Deane and West Somerset, Sedgemoor, Mendip and South Somerset have their own Family Focus Programme designed to help the families in their local areas.

Family Focus

Pathways Covered

Children and families
  • Family Focus is a new way to help some families in South Somerset. It is run by Somerset County Council and delivered by the District Councils across Somerset by working closely with partner agencies, delivery organisations and the voluntary and community sector.

    The aims of Family Focus is to help families in crisis and reduce their dependency on public services.

  • We work with families who need help and support. In order to be referred onto the Family Focus Programme, the family needs to fulfill two of the following criteria:

    1. Children that are not attending or have been excluded from school;
    2. Children involved in anti-social or criminal behaviour and/or where an adult in the family has been involved in anti-social behaviour;
    3. Where there is no adult in work or where there is a history of worklessness in the family.

    There is also local discretion criteria. Please see the attached Troubled Families Criteria. If a family you work with meets 2 out of 3 criteria and they live in the areas covered by the programme then contact the Programme Manager for each area for information about how to make a referral.


  • Family Focus programme started in 2012 and is being rolled out across Somerset in a phased approach.

    The Family Focus Programme is run by the District Councils and covers mainly areas of social deprivation.

    For more information about what areas of Somerset are currently covered by the scheme, speak to the Programme Manager for the area the family lives in.

  • If  you wish to find out more about the Family Focus Programme or to make a referral then speak to the Programme Managers.

    Self referral is not possible onto the Family Focus Programme. Referral has to be made by a professional involved or working with the family.

    In order to refer into the programme, you will need to provide some details about the family such as  their names, address and contact details as well as the reasons for your referral. If you know or support the family currently, you may be asked to obatin the family's consent to agree to take part in the Programme.


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