Over the last two months a few of us from the national Troubled Families’ team along with our colleagues from Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA) have hit the road and held data analysis workshops for Troubled Families data leads across the country. The workshops were aimed at supporting Local Authorities directly with their data submissions - specifically their Family Progress Data (FPD), the National Impact Study (NIS) and the Cost Savings Calculator (CSC).
As well as helping families in need, one of the key objectives of this programme is also to improve the effectiveness of local services through analysis. With this in mind, we are working closely with areas to develop, improve and utilise their analytical capabilities.
How we use data
The data that areas submit is used in the national evaluation to provide a robust measurement of progress toward service transformation and to analyse the costs and benefits of the programme’s intervention. We are also planning to feedback these findings to local authorities to help services develop and improve.
Moreover, this data will also be used to demonstrate the savings accrued to the tax payer by intervening early with families and taking a whole family approach to addressing their problems in order that they no longer need to be reliant on public services. This evidence will be used to assess whether this programme delivers value for money.
Feedback from the workshops
The workshops gave us the chance to discuss the value and practicalities of collecting and analysing data, and to share best practice with LAs. The attendance was excellent with 120 LAs represented. Many of you have also provided feedback that you found the sessions to be greatly informative and helpful in generating ideas for improvements within your authority.
Comments from Colin Chow, Family Intervention Information Manager, Wirral
‘I found the workshop really useful, it will help me to complete and return the Family Progress Data (FPD). It also helps you guys that the data being returned is being standardised, which means that the reports and analysis that you produce should be more meaningful and accurate. It was good to discuss the FPD in an arena where we can get the views of other authorities. We already do this in our regional meetings, but the more the better.’
Following consultation with areas at our workshop and with GMCA, we have developed an additional FPD guidance that incorporates practical experiences of working with FPD data. We have also refreshed our CSC guidance, which now contains additional information on best practice. This guidance is now available internally on Khub.
Finally, we want to continue to offer one to one support to help areas as they collect and analyse data. Our helpdesk is open to answer any queries local Troubled families teams have, either by email or over the phone. To contact the helpdesk, just send your CSC queries to CSC-Guidance@greatermanchester-ca.gov.uk and your FPD queries to FPD-Guidance@greatermanchester-ca.gov.uk
What are your thoughts on this topic? Please contact me directly with any questions or continue the conversation by leaving a comment below.
Weiran Ni, Economist for Troubled Families Team
Ministry for Housing, Communities & Local Government