News that a programme providing tailored support to vulnerable families has been extended for three years has been welcomed by a North East council.

As part of the government’s £200 million extension of the National Supporting Families Programme, Durham County Council and its partners will receive almost £2.2m to build on the success of the Stronger Families initiative.

Stronger Families helps families across County Durham access the help they need to address a range of disadvantages. It recognises that children, parents and carers are most able to build resilience when they have support workers on their side who they know and trust. The programme employs a whole family approach and is delivered by dedicated key workers from the council and fellow members of the Early Help Partnership, which includes Durham Constabulary, health agencies and the voluntary and community sector.

Since its launch in 2015, Stronger Families has supported nearly 6,000 families, resulting in a range of positive outcomes. These include:

  • Reductions in families being involved in crime and anti-social behaviour
  • More children accessing full-time education
  • Improvements in family relationships and health
  • Reductions in domestic abuse
  • Fewer families in financial hardship
  • More people finding sustainable employment.

The extension of the National Supporting Families Programme will allow the partners to continue this work in County Durham, ensuring funding is targeted to help support disadvantaged children and families at the earliest opportunity.

Cllr Ted Henderson, Durham County Council’s Cabinet member for children and young people’s services, said:

We are delighted to receive this funding which will allow the County Durham Stronger Families programme to continue providing co-ordinated support to children and families in need.

“Together with our partners, we are committed to helping families build their resilience and community connections, empowering them to find their own solutions, and most importantly helping our children to thrive.”

To find out more about Stronger Families, visit

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