Isle of Wight Council

Support for Families

Professional referral process

Line drawing of family

The Supporting Families Programme is led by The Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (DLUHC). Supporting Families has been created to transform services. It gets them to work using the whole family approach. Services need to consider every member of the family within assessments and family plans rather than focusing on individuals.

This programme encourages services to work with families with multiple issues. Taking on an integrated whole family approach. This approach recognises and deals with their overlapping and interconnected problems and histories.

The previous programme was known as Strengthening Families programme. The Supporting Families programme replaces that scheme.

Eligible families 

To be eligible for the programme the family must meet at least three or more of the following criteria points:

  • Education concerns
  • Early Years Development concerns
  • Mental Health and Physical Health concerns
  • Promoting Recovery and Reducing Harm from Substance Use
  • Family Relationships concerns
  • Child Abuse and Exploitation concerns
  • Crime concerns
  • Domestic Abuse
  • Housing concerns
  • Financial Stability

Please note: Families must be closed and not receiving Social Care intervention.

Available support

Health related concerns - Support and advice such as, diet, sleep routines and emotional regulation.

Anti-social behaviour/Crime - Support and advice.

Employment - Support and advice such as, finding employment, risk of financial exclusion, benefits, and debt management.

Housing issues and/or risk of homelessness - Support, advice and signposting such as, unsuitable accommodation, help with finding a property, and issues with neighbours.

Education - Support and advice such as, poor school attendance, risk of exclusion, and in need of an Educational Health Care Plan.

Intensive Family Support within a family home - Support and advice such as, helping to implement clear boundaries, building good strategies to help develop effective parenting skills.

Family Centre Based Services - Information, advice, guidance and courses for parents.

Volunteers Support Service - Support from the Early Help Volunteers such as, taking family members to appointments,  

Benefits for the family

  • One named keyworker;
  • Whole family working;
  • A family plan approach that will be updated on a regular basis, with all professionals involved;
  • Up to 12 months support;
  • Multi-agency support;
  • Access to a Supporting Families employment advisor and Early Help volunteer.


Referral application process

  • Identify three or more criteria points for the family.

  • Download the Request for Supporting Families Support Application form (

  • Complete the application form.

  • Get consent from all family members over the age of 18 years. You must complete the Information sharing consent section of the form.

  • Include your latest assessment:

      • Child and Family Assessment,
      • Early Help assessment,
      • Youth Offending or Education and Inclusion Team assessment.
  • If your organisation does not complete assessments contact the Isle of Wight Council Children Services Resource Team. Telephone number 01983 823169.

  • To help support your request you can attach a plan, for example a Child In Need, Early Help, Child Protection Plan.

  • Email your completed your form, assessments, supporting documents and signed consents to

If you require any further information about what assessments can be used, please contact the Isle of Wight Council Children Services Resource Team. Telephone number 01983 823169.

Process after application form has been submitted

  1. Once we have received your application form, assessments, supporting documents and signed consent, we will undertake the necessary checks.
  2. The referral application will then be sent to Supporting Families Multi-Agency Hub for discussion.
  3. They will decide the appropriate support to be provided for the family.
  4. After the Multi-Agency panel has taken place, a Decision Notice will be sent to you (the referrer). It will advise you of the support to be offered to the family.
  5. You will need to arrange for the family to be informed of the decision.
  6. The decisions will need to be incorporated within the current family plan.  


Further information

For reference you can download or print a copy of our Supporting families for professionals leaflet.