Oldham is taking part in a national programme to ‘turn around’ the lives of families who need support to get them back on track.

Oldham’s approach is unique – because we are a co-operative Borough, we have not simply designed another service to ‘fix things’ for people. We have designed an early help service that works alongside families to help them to help themselves. We spend time with families, working with them and coaching them to help them manage difficult situations.

Oldham is taking part in the national troubled families programme to ‘turn around’ the lives of families who need support to get them back on track and enable them to play a stable role in their community. 

There are a lot of families for whom services historically haven’t made a difference. These families have become more and more dependent on the public services. The programme focuses on families with two or more of the following:

  • Parents or children involved in crime or anti-social behaviour;
  • Children who have not been attending school regularly;
  • Children who need help: children of all ages, who need help, are identified as in need or are subject to a Child Protection Plan;
  • Adults out of work or at risk of financial exclusion or young people at risk of worklessness;
  • Families affected by domestic violence and abuse;
  • Parents or children with a range of health problems.

Working with the right families

To proactively assess those eligible for early help, personal information is shared between departments of the Council and between the Council and its partner organisations to understand which families experience two or more of the issues listed earlier.

In addition, departments of the Council and/or our partner organisations directly refer families who will benefit from coordinated support. Services including: Oldham Council, Positive Steps, Greater Manchester Police, the NHS, local housing providers and the Department for Work and Pensions have worked together to legally share information to identify families who may need support and ensure that support is given to the families that need it.


To understand whether the troubled families programme is working, local researchers and national researchers from DCLG and their research partners need to match the personal data of individuals and families with information from public agencies, both locally and nationally. This will include organisations such as the NHS and health organisations, Department of works and pension, the Police, the ministry of Justice, the probation services, schools and Youth offending Team. 

The data includes both those people / families assessed as potentially needing support and also those who have participated in the programme

The reason to match the information is to help the government and local service providers understand whether or not the programme has been effective in reducing offending, truancy and getting people ready for work and to help improve the service over time.

A findings report will review the success of the programme, assessing those families who have been identified as troubled families but not had any intervention against those who we have had intervention as part of the troubled families program. Any reports created by DCLG will be anonymised. 

How the information will be used

Details of who has access to your information, how long it is kept for and how it is used.


If you want to get in touch with us to talk about anything we’re doing, or to opt out of us sharing your data, please contact the Early Help Team:

Early Help Team 
Oldham Civic Centre,
West Street,