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ESF for Families with Multiple Problems

Chris Grayling met with DWP ERSS Framework providers yesterday in London to brief them on the ESF provision for families with multiple problems.  Following the recent call for evidence which received around 100 responses, DWP are finalising the invitation to tender for this contract which should be out by the end of June.  There is then likely to be a 4-6 week timescale for bid submission.

Chris Grayling told the audience that the ESF provision is aimed at the many families who have significant issues in their lives (besides skills and employment) which cause significant barriers in getting into work.  The funding available cannot meet the needs of the 150,000 families identified as being "problematic" so will be targeted by Local Authorities who will be responsible for referrals.  To be eligible for the provision one member of the family needs to be in receipt of a DWP work related benefit and there needs to be a history of worklessness in the family.  There is no definition of a family, and no defintion of a history of worklessness!

The aim is to move participants “part-way down the road” towards engaging with provision and returning to work.  The voluntary provision will “warm up” customers so they become “willing participants in the Work Programme”. 

The expectation is that the provision will offer outreach support workers to work with families in the community to coach them and to refer them to the support they need as a family.  There will be a range of progress measures as well as a minimum job outcome expectation (13 week sustained).

There are 12 CPAs up for grabs but no indication yet of the number of contracts to be awarded in each CPA:

  • East of England
  • East Midlands East London
  • West London
  • North East
  • Greater Manchester et al
  • Cumbria Lancashire et al
  • South East
  • South West (excl Cornwall & Isles of Scilly)
  • Cornwall & Isles of Scilly
  • West Midlands
  • Yorks & Humber

Attendees at the meeting were advised that A4e will not be bidding for the contract.  Emma Harrison has been working with the government on the Working Families Everywhere initiative and this is a conflict of interests.

So ... don't book an early summer holiday!

 

27 May 2011 


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