Harvard academics learn from Winchester City Council

Press Release: 16/03/2017

Winchester’s role in supporting families with complex needs has attracted international interest.

Academics from Harvard University in the United States and Southampton Solent University met representatives from the local programme along with two participants who had benefited from it during a recent visit to Hampshire.

The two mums spoke passionately about the positive support they had received from the Winchester programme and how it had improved the lives of their families.

Hampshire’s ‘Supporting Families Programme’ in the Winchester area has been running since 2012. It is a partnership between Hampshire County Council and Winchester City Council.

Cllr Lisa Griffiths, Winchester City Council’s Portfolio Holder for Health and Wellbeing, said:

Our health and wellbeing team have developed strong local partnerships with families that are delivering real benefits.

Much of this work must of course remain confidential, but it is an accolade for our local team to be contacted and consulted by a prestigious university such as Harvard and shows that our reputation and solutions in health and wellbeing are reaching far and wide.

The five-year Government-funded programme aims to turn around the lives of more than 5,000 Hampshire families with multiple, complex and persistent issues. These may include unemployment, poor school attendance, involvement in crime and anti-social behaviour, problems with drugs or alcohol, physical or mental health problems, domestic violence or abuse, families at risk of homelessness or unmanaged debts, young children failing to thrive, and unhealthy weight or malnutrition concerns.

Supporting Families enables Hampshire’s public and voluntary sector agencies to work more effectively together to make lasting positive changes for the lives of families and communities across Hampshire.

The focus of the programme is to provide practical early help to stop problems getting worse by working with families to get things back on track. Issues are looked at in the round, not just from the perspective of individual family members. A key worker is assigned to each family to provide a dedicated point of contact and to keep an eye on progress.

For further information and details of how to get involved in the programme please contact Winchester City Council and ask to speak to a member of the Health and Wellbeing team in the Housing Department.