Stronger Families Programme

What is the Stronger Families Programme?

The Stronger Families Programme aims to improve the lives of Knowsley families with multiple, high cost problems, transform local public services and reduce public costs.

It was created in response to the Government’s Troubled Families Programme, which was launched in 2012.  The £448m scheme was designed to encourage local authorities and their partners to turn around 120,000 troubled families across England by May 2015. This was known as phase 1 of the Programme.

In June 2013, the Government announced plans to expand the programme for a further five years from 2015 to 2020 to reach up to an additional 400,000 families. This is known as phase 2 of the programme, or the ‘Expanded Programme’.

Who are the families?

For a family to be eligible for the expanded programme, it must present at least two of the following six problems:

  1. Worklessness or at risk of financial exclusion (including unemployment, experiencing problem debt, young adults not in education, employment or training)
  2. School absence
  3. Children in need (those at risk, on child protection plans, looked after children)
  4. Offending and anti-social behaviour
  5. Domestic abuse
  6. Mental or physical health problems

What support and services do families receive?

Every family included in the programme will have a lead practitioner/case manager from a relevant service. Their role will be to lead, with the family and partners, on a whole family assessment, develop a whole family plan, and to draw in relevant services and interventions in a ‘team around the family’ model.  We will work with partner organisations, including NHS and health providers, Department for Work and Pensions including Job Centre Plus, schools, social services, housing providers, community safety team, police, ministry of justice agencies and other service providers that we commission to support the programme.
Locally we expect to see a reduction in the number of households suffering from multiple and complex issues and, as a result, fewer families requiring costly reactive measures, leading to less pressured services.

Why do we collect information about families and how is it used?

To see whether families are eligible, personal information is shared between departments of the Council and between the Council and its partner organisations to understand which families have two or more of the issues listed above. Only the minimum necessary information is shared on a ‘need to know’ basis.

What allows you to use my information?

Knowsley Council will collect the personal data from partner organisations to fulfil their functions, in this case deliver services to troubled families, and will share this data with MHCLG under the public task basis to fulfil their functions as a Government Department, in this case to improve services for troubled families. Knowsley Council and MHCLG are therefore compliant with the data protection legislation (General Data Protection Legislation).   To legally share data for research purposes and the national evaluation called the National Impact Study (NIS), Knowsley Council and MHCLG rely on the Digital Economy Act 2017. 

What’s the purpose of the National Impact Study?

The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) is responsible for supporting families and improving services they receive from local authorities. By carrying out this research, MHCLG aims to find out:

1. How well services for families with multiple problems are working across England
2. How those families use public services and what benefits they get
3. The costs of providing services to families with multiple problems

To do this, MHCLG wants Knowsley Council to provide information about your family to link with past and future information on your use of public services and your benefits. The information we provide for your family will include names, dates of birth, gender, last known address, National Insurance numbers and other unique identifiers where we know them. 


Please note that any information the Council provides will not be used to make any decisions about what benefits you get, or services you use, now, or in the future. 

Why use my data?

Your data has been included because your family has been identified to have two or more of the six problems detailed above that local services hope to help families with.  You may or may not currently be receiving a service to help you deal with your problems. 

Who will my information be shared with and why?

Your personal information will be provided securely by Knowsley Council to MHCLG’s partner for the evaluation, Office for National Statistics (ONS). They will keep your data secure.


In order to assess how well services for families with multiple problems are working, what public services families use, and what benefits they receive ONS will link your data with national datasets including information on your benefits, your children’s information and any contact you or your children have had with the criminal justice system.  This information will only be used for research.  Name and address details will be removed and your information will be assigned a unique reference number, so that, even though a researcher will see all your information, they will not be able to identify you.

Your personal information will be linked to information held by the following government departments: 

  • Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) – to see what benefits you have received and whether you have been employed
  • Ministry of Justice (MOJ) – to see what contact you may have had with the criminal justice system
  • Department for Education (DfE) – to see when your child has been in school, how well they are doing at each Key Stage and whether they are a Child in Need.

What will happen to the results of this research?

The final results of this research will be published on the main government website. You will not be identified in any research report.

How will my information be stored?

All information collected about you will be kept strictly confidential and stored on a restricted access computer system.  It will only be sent by secure email or uploaded to a secure portal.

For how long will my information be kept?

All personal information for this programme will be securely destroyed by December 2022.
The personal information held by DWP, MoJ and DfE for the national evaluation will be securely destroyed after a month and they will not keep records showing you were part of this research.

What happens if I object to my personal data being shared for these purposes?

You can talk to your lead practitioner or case manager, or Knowsley Council’s Data Protection Officer about whether your data is being used for this programme without it affecting your legal rights or routine care. You can also see copies of all the data MHCLG hold about you for their research and ask for it to be corrected or deleted. 
To request a copy of your data or ask questions about how it is used, please download a
copy of our form from here and
send it to: -
Dan Howarth
Data Protection Officer
Knowsley Council
Westmorland Road
L36 9GL
Or email:
If you are unhappy about your data being used you can complain directly to the Council’s
Data Protection Team by writing to: -
Dan Howarth
Data Protection Officer
Knowsley Council
Westmorland Road
L36 9GL
Or email:
You can also contact MHCLG’s Knowledge and Information Team about seeing your NIS data or withdrawing from the research by emailing MHCLG’s Data Protection Officer at
If you are unhappy with the way your personal information is being handled you can contact the independent Information Commissioner at:
The Information Commissioner's Office
Wycliffe House
Water Lane
Cheshire SK9 5AF
Telephone: 08456 30 60 60 or 01625 54 57 45