Updated on 23 May 2013
European Social Fund (ESF) Support for Families with Multiple Problems
It has been estimated that there are around 120,000 families in England with multiple problems. Turning around the lives of these families is a priority for the Government.
Support for Families with Multiple Problems Provision is funded by the European Social Fund (ESF) and aims to tackle entrenched worklessness in England by progressing people in families with multiple problems closer to employment.
The provision is aimed at families with multiple problems and complex needs where:
- At least one member of the family receives a DWP working age benefit; and
- Either no one in the family is working, or there is a history of worklessness across generations.
This provision is voluntary and focuses on providing a whole family approach, making support available to individual family members across the generations. It involves Providers working closely with Local Authorities (LAs) to identify families who can benefit from this provision.
European Social Fund (ESF) Support for Families with Multiple Problems Guidance – This guidance focuses on the procedures and processes to be followed which specifically relate to this provision. It should be used in conjunction with the Provider Generic Guidance.
Provider Generic Guidance - Provides requirements and background generic to all DWP Employment Related Programmes.
ESF Live Running Memos – To keep you informed on the latest information around ESF provision, we occasionally issue live running memos, most of which can be found here. Obsolete copies are available on request. (Last updated November 2012).
Providers and Local Authorities should raise any questions about ESF Support for Families with Multiple Problems Provision, which are not covered in the provider guidance, with their Performance Manager or their Jobcentre Plus ESF Manager.
Find out more about the ESF Families Provision Supported Adult Learners’ Week Award Winners
Other DWP initiatives funded by ESF
ESF is used to fund places on the Work Programme for Incapacity Benefit (IB) and Income Support (IS) claimants to participate on a voluntary basis.
European Social Fund
The European Social Fund (ESF) was set up to improve employment opportunities in the European Union and so help raise standards of living. It aims to help people fulfill their potential by giving them better skills and better job prospects.
The key priorities of the England ESF Programme for 2007 – 2013 set by the European Commission are to increase employment, reduce unemployment and inactivity and to overcome barriers to work faced by:
- people with disabilities and health conditions;
- lone parents and other disadvantaged parents;
- older workers;
- people from ethnic minorities; and
- people with low or no qualifications.
The intention is that tackling and preventing worklessness will help improve social inclusion, social mobility and, by helping the above groups to enter and progress in employment, help alleviate child poverty.
As a co-financing organisation, DWP’s role is to bring together ESF and domestic funding for employment to ensure ESF complements and adds value to domestic employment programmes.
- ESF Publicity Works Toolkit– Information about marketing ESF provision.
- ESF Booklet - Improving People's Lives (1.2MB)
- ESF Works – The showcase and forum for policy and practice lessons from the 2007-2013 European Social Fund (ESF) programme in England
- Department for Communities and Local Government website - responsible for delivering the Troubled Families agenda
- National Institute for Adult Continuing Education (NIACE) Adult Learners Week
- CPA Event Feedback (579KB) RTF – Throughout summer 2012, key stakeholders delivering Families provision hosted a series of regional forums. Main points of discussion are captured here.
- Good Practice Report (53KB) - Over the summer, the DWP Work Programme Division began a good practice review with selected Local Authorities. Initial interviews were arranged in CPAs 3 and 4 (London), with assistance of the London Councils, this report summarises the findings from that initial phase.
- Good Practice Report (second phase) (125KB) - The second phase of the DWP's review of good practice in selected Local Authorities is now complete. In this phase of the review, interviewers went into much more depth, aiming to build up a picture of how Local Authority services worked with vulnerable families before the launch of the ESF Families provision, how their engagement with the prime providers and delivery agents had progressed and how the new provision added value to their services.
Updates to this website
- May 2013 – Good Practice Report (second phase) included in the Useful Information section. Good news section added.
- November 2012 – Useful Information section now includes: An updated version of the CPA Events document (version 2) and a new addition, Good Practice Review.
- October 2012 – Useful information section now includes links to the Adult Learners Week, CPA Events, ESF Publicity Works Toolkit and the new ESF booklet, Improving People’s Lives
- September 2012 – ESF Provider Memos issued are available in the Provider Guidance section
- June 2012 – Progress Measures included in the Useful Information section
- May 2013 – Good Practice Report (second phase) included in the Useful Information section