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Government encouraging social services to 'think family'

Date:10 JAN 2008

A new report published today by the Social Exclusion Task Force in the Cabinet Office - encourages local services to support whole families not just individuals, and announces a £16m programme of local pilots, to be led by the Department for Children, Schools and Families.

The Think Family report was launched by Ed Miliband and Beverley Hughes at an event bringing Ministers together with practitioners and service users involved in projects working with families with complex problems. The report encourages greater co-operation between different local services to focus on the family as a whole rather than individual family members.

Ed Miliband, Cabinet Minister responsible for social exclusion, said: "If we're going to break the cycle of inter-generational exclusion, we must empower local services to always 'think family' and enable families to help themselves."

Clare Tickell, Chief Executive of NCH, a leading children's charity that runs 20 family intervention projects across the UK, said: "NCH knows first hand that tailoring services and working with a family as a whole can turn around the lives of the most vulnerable, impacting on the future of the family, the child and the local community. This investment will go a long way in helping break the cycle of poverty and low achievement many face by creating innovative ways to engage with the most vulnerable families, and provide a hub for people to access the support they need."

The full Think Family: Improving the life chances of families at risk report can be found on the Cabinet Office website: http://www.cabinetoffice.gov.uk/social_exclusion_task_force/families_at_risk.aspx.