A project working with children from troubled families in Hackney has been awarded almost £900,000 by the Big Lottery Fund.
Hackney Council for Voluntary Service (HCVS), in partnership with Claudia Jones Organisation, Daymer and Inspire!, is one of 20 projects that has been awarded to provide more early support to families with multiple and complex problems.
Two hundred-and-ten families will receive support over three years, through the Families First project, from April 1.
The project will provide support to mainly African Caribbean, Turkish and Kurdish families who have been acknowledged as having “complex and challenging needs which do not yet require statutory intervention”.
Rebecca Clarkson, the lead officer for Family First told EastLondonLines: “The thinking behind the project grew out of the increasingly urgent need to tackle the trend in high levels of underachievement amongst Hackney’s ethnic minority pupils, leading, as this does, to a higher risk of unemployment and impact on life chances from a very young age.”
According to Clarkson, the rationale for the targeting of the project beneficiaries reflects the partnership’s knowledge of the families most in need of this support and was a core part of the planning.
She added: “It also reflects the expertise which we are particularly fortunate to have available from providers with solid track records in service delivery to communities sometimes deemed ‘hard to reach’.”
There will be tailored, one-to-one mentoring and skills development for children moving from primary to secondary school. In addition, intensive family support and coaching will be provide to restore parent, child and school relationships.
A Big Lottery Fund spokesperson said Hackney CVS has strong partnerships in voluntary and community organisations, and will build on existing best practices to innovate new ways of working with troubled families: “ We hope that the Hackney project will transform outcomes for families involved, but also generate learning that can be replicated elsewhere by other organisations working in the field.”
Big Lottery Fund’s Improving Futures programme will distribute up to £26m in total across the country. Some of the smallest community organisations and local public services will have opportunities to work together with the largest charities to trial a range of family interventions.