Families Matter Service

What we do

We work with children, young people and their families on a locality basis who are deemed as vulnerable and have complex needs that require a multi-agency response. The focus is to prevent escalation and support families to be resilient and self reliant within an intensive time limited framework. The team encompasses the work of the Troubled Families initiative (criteria for access is listed below) which is reported to the DCLG.

In addition we also provide some group work as well as delivering a bespoke purchased service to schools to work with children who they identify as vulnerable.

National Criteria Met – families must meet at least two of the sections listed below

Crime /ASB


1 or more young people in the household have a proven offence in the last 6 months


1 or more members of the household has an ASB order, and ASB injunction or an ASB contract


Is the household receipt of a warning letter, complaint re domestic noise nuisance or similar




Young person with 15% or more unauthorised school absence in 3 consecutive terms


Young Person 3 fixed term exclusion across 3 consecutive terms


Young Person subject to permanent exclusion, attending PRU or not on school role


A letter from the head teacher stating equivalent concerns re attendance or exclusions




1 or more adult in the household in receipt of Out of Work benefits, including carers allowance



Local Criteria Met – please indicate which of the criteria below the family meet

Substance misuse


Experience of Domestic Violence


Young person 16 – 19 NEET


Children are subject to or at risk of CP


A member of the family has mental health issues


A member of the family has a disability


Children are on the SEN register


How we work
We work primarily on an outreach basis within 3 localities, working with 0-19 year olds and their families. The service works to the Troubled Families methodology, which focuses on a 6 month model of intense intervention that is tailored to individual family needs. The work aims to address the emotional and practical challenges of life on an individual and family basis. Working in a multi-agency and holistic context is essential to the success of the work and for ongoing and sustained change.

Families undergo an early help assessment which is based on the assessment framework in order that all areas of family life are captured. This in turn provides the platform for the development and delivery of a comprehensive plan to address identified need.

How we support schools

  • Offering a traded service with regard to child and family support work, that both works with pupils within the school environment and the family within their home environment.
  • Schools are key players in the multi-agency plans which are devised in conjunction with the family and professionals involved. Improvements in attainment and attendance are often achieved through the intervention of the families matter service
  • The locality model of working, will mean that over time strong links will be forged with schools that will promote joint working and support

How we support children and young people

  • 1:1 work as part of a child’s plan
  • Referrals and signposting to other services
  • Working with their families to bring about changes that would otherwise impact on the child’s social, emotional or intellectual development
  • Ensuring they have a voice, that this is heard and included within the work

How we support parents

  • Working with families in their own home
  • Role model positive parenting
  • Signposting and referring to other services
  • Supporting them to gain skills and knowledge
  • Support with practical and emotional issues

How the service is funded

  • Core funding as part of the early intervention agenda
  • Attachment fee’s and Payments by results income from the Troubled Families Programme
  • Funding from school’s buy in service

Contact point
Sutton Administrator, Tweeddale Children’s Centre, Tweeddale Road, Carshalton SM5 1SQ
Tel:  020 8436 1720
email:  families.matter@sutton.gov.uk or if you have a CJSM account  then please add cjsm.net

Out of hours
Tel:  020 8770 5000
email:  childrensedt@suttton.gov.uk.cjsm.net
Fax: 020 8770 5900

Referral Process
The service does not accept self referrals. For those families who meet the criteria as noted above the  lead professional needs to complete a referral form which can be accessed via the website or by contacting the administrator.

For those families who do not meet the above criteria the referral form along with a completed CAF form needs to be submitted. The CAF will need to demonstrate that complex needs are a feature for a child and their family.

In both instances consent for the referral needs to be gained from the family.

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