It’s now six months since I joined the Fulfilling Lives national evaluation team. My background is in community and criminal justice research, so I have a degree of familiarity with the target group. I have evaluated initiatives to help re-engagement on release from prison, to provide pathways to education and ultimately employment, and to help with accommodation and independent living. Offenders often have chaotic lifestyles and multiple needs including experience of homelessness, alcohol and/or drug dependency, and/or mental health issues. You can often find childhood trauma, special educational needs or attachment issues as well. What struck me time and time again when listening to offenders and their workers tell me their stories was the lack of coherent support available to people who are in desperate need of help.
The latest national evaluation report on the Fulfilling Lives (Supporting People with Multiple Needs) programme, published today by CFE, shows continuing high demand for help. The 12 funded projects have successfully engaged with nearly 3,000 people affected by homelessness, substance misuse, offending and mental ill health.
Beneficiaries who remain with the programme show clear signs of progress, but this takes time and substantial resource. Project staff often need to spend extended periods of time with beneficiaries and have to be flexible to cope with chaotic lives. However some beneficiaries have needs for which they will always require support. What constitutes success varies from person to person and in many cases, success is about developing strategies, resilience and understanding to effectively manage their needs.
The report includes clear messages and promising practice, providing recommendations not just for those who work to support people with multiple needs, but also for service commissioners and funders.
Read the full report here: http://mcnevaluation.co.uk/wpfb-file/annual-report-2017-v1-final-pdf/
The National Expert Citizen’s Group is a group of individuals with lived experience of homelessness, substance misuse, mental ill health and offending behaviour. The group is comprised of individuals from the 12 funded project areas for the Big Lottery Fund’s ‘Fulfilling Lives: Supporting people with multiple needs’. CFE Research facilitates the group. Members from the group have been accepted to run a workshop at the 2017 Multiple Needs summit in Milton Keynes. Sarah Robinson, the group’s facilitator (and research manager on the programme’s National Evaluation), will be supporting two group members to lead and present at their first national conference.
CFE Research, working in partnership with the University of Sheffield, have published their latest report on the evaluation of the Big Lottery Fund’s ‘Fulfilling Lives: Supporting people with multiple needs’ programme.
Supporting those who are chronically excluded and disadvantaged – experiencing homelessness, mental ill health, substance misuse and reoffending – is a challenge that needs a different approach. The £112 million initiative is funding 12 projects across England to provide more person-centred and co-ordinated support.
Latest findings from the evaluation show that projects have made a good start in reaching those with greatest need. But continued effort is needed to reach ‘hidden’ and harder to reach groups such as women with multiple needs and people from Black and minority ethnic communities.
The initiative still has six years to run, and as such few beneficiaries have successfully moved on to date. But there are signs that those who remain on the programme are making progress, accepting help, engaging better with services and building trusting relationship. Frontline staff report that flexible, open-ended support that focuses on beneficiaries’ own priorities is key to making a difference.
The All Party Parliamentary Group on Complex Needs and Dual Diagnosis, is looking for examples of good practice in working with people with co-existing substance misuse and mental health issues, to inform an online ‘library’ for policy makers, commissioners, providers, academics, experts by experience and others to reference.
For anyone who is interested in either providing a case study of good practice or contributing to this work in general, please do get in touch with us at firstname.lastname@example.org
They are also planning on conducting a short survey to ascertain the current strengths, risks and opportunities facing services supporting people with multiple complex needs so please do look out for this in the next few weeks.
Sent on behalf of David Burrowes MP & Lord Victor Adebowale CBE
Co-Chairs of the APPG on Complex Needs and Dual Diagnosis
Turning Point provides the secretariat to the APPG on Complex Needs and Dual Diagnosis.
On the 29th January, in Stoke on Trent, the National Expert Citizen’s Group of Fulfilling Lives were invited to review the National Drugs Strategy. The strategy focuses on three key themes: Reducing Demand, Restricting Supply and Building Recovery. The day focused on the third strand – Building Recovery. A member from the Home Office’s Drug Strategy Team provided an initial presentation to set the scene. The rest of the day focused on obtaining expert’s views and opinions, from their lived experience, on key aspects that are needed to inform the new strategy. The review was particularly interested in:
— Barriers to recovery
— How to reduce the stigma of substance misuse
— What works well in recovery – particularly around housing and employment
The day was recorded graphically and in notes.
The Home Office will be providing an annotated strategy after its publication later this year which marks which areas were changed/influenced by the views of the experts. A follow up session with the Home Office will occur at the May NECG meeting in Bristol.
Following the success of the Experts by Experience launch film in 2015, Birmingham Changing Futures Together decided it would be fitting to create a new film for 2016. This film features some new year’s resolutions, a variety of stories and successful journeys and recommendations for services for 2016.
Birmingham Changing Futures Together will continue to work with Experts by Experience to help improve services across Birmingham, and make the lives of their users more fulfilled.
They really hope you find it as rewarding to watch as they found it to make.
PIElink is a rapidly growing community of practice with the aim of connecting people involved with addressing the psychological and emotional issues that go with homelessness, particularly through the development of ‘psychologically informed environments’ – PIEs.
They have just released their first newsletter, follow this link to find it.
If you want to find out more about PIElink then got to their website to get involved. http://pielink.net/
The event marked the first year of the WY-FI project. The audience saw videos made by beneficiaries of the Wakefield Navigator Team, presentations about the team’s achievements and testimonies from partners in Wakefield. Out Of Character Theatre showcased some of the work they had been doing across West Yorkshire to help WY-FI users tell their own stories of recovery and resilience
Read more about it here
The End Violence Against Women Coalition has published a new Briefing Paper on the rights of women and girls to specialist support when they have suffered or are at risk of abuse, and has written to the Communities Secretary Greg Clark MP calling on the UK Government to act to make these rights a reality.
Read more about it here.
The Department for Work and Pensions has launched an independent review led by Dame Carol Black into the support available for benefit claimants with drug and alcohol problems. MEAM has responded to the call for evidence.
This review provides an opportunity to explore the range of challenges that people with substance issues face in moving towards employment, and explore how the current system could be improved to better respond to their needs.
While a great deal of the media coverage has focused on proposals to make benefits conditional on accepting an offer of treatment, this is one debate within a much wider set of issues and must not be addressed in isolation.
In responding to the review, the MEAM coalition charities – Clinks, Homeless Link and Mind – will seek to represent the experiences of people with multiple needs who have experience of substance misuse, and the practitioners who support them. In doing this, we will draw on the continuing work of our Voices from the Frontline project.
An article on the BBC reports that delayed discharge and poor community provision are to blame for problems that mental health patients in England have accessing hospital beds.
Read it here
Over 120 guests attended the official launch of the Birmingham Changing Futures Together project Friday 19th June. They were able to find out more about the achievements so far, aspirations for the future and how they could get more involved.
Birmingham also took the opportunity to capture views on how people think Services, Outcomes and Systems (SOS) for people with multiple needs can be improved across the city. For details of the event and an inspiring video by their Experts by Experience, click here.
A new report, launched by Making Every Adult Matter (a coalition of Clinks, Homeless Link, and Mind) shows that people experiencing a combination of homelessness, substance misuse, offending, and mental health problems, are not getting the support they need because policymakers are not consistently listening to them or the practitioners that support them.
Solutions from the Frontline is based on the ideas and experiences of people with multiple needs. It sets out how the new Government, as well as national and local policymakers and commissioners, can act to reduce stigma, improve services, and support people to achieve their ambitions.
Read it here
Important research on severe and multiple disadvantage (also labelled ‘multiple needs’, or ‘chronic exclusion’) is often confined to specific disciplines, or certain sectors. People with direct or ‘frontline’ experience rarely have a chance to shape this research, while inter-sector and interdisciplinary collaboration is rare.
Our hope is that this network will be a place where we can start to change this.
Our First Seminar
Our first seminar is Tuesday 30th June, 2.30-4.30pm, and we are pleased to host Professor Suzanne Fitzpatrick, Heriot-Watt University and Di McNeish, DMSS Research & Consultancy. Suzanne is lead author on ‘Hard Edges’, the recent report mapping severe and multiple disadvantage, and an expert in homelessness and housing exclusion. Di is a leading researcher into factors causing and characterising women and girls’ experience of multiple disadvantage. Both will speak on ‘Profiling’ severe and multiple disadvantage: the different ways it can be described. This will be followed by a discussion chaired by Dr Nick Maguire, Revolving Doors Trustee and Deputy Head of Psychology at the University of Southampton.
The seminar will be held in a central London venue.
Who can join?
Membership of the network is free, and open to all disciplines and sectors. We only ask that you have an active interest in researching multiple disadvantage and in helping to develop a collaborative, thriving network.
RSVP and Join the Network
As spaces are limited, please let us know if you would like to attend Tuesday 30th June. More details will be circulated to attendees. (Please note, we may need to limit attendance to one member per organisation).
Don’t worry if you can’t attend this meeting, we would still love you to become a member of the research network. Do get in touch if you want to find out more.
Lucy Terry | Research and Information Officer
Revolving Doors Agency
4th Floor, 291-299 Borough High Street, London SE1 1JG
Direct line 020 7940 9745
Framework, the specialist charity and housing association, proposes five specific actions to bring effective help to people living troubled lives and those at risk of doing so. The aim is to secure cross-party agreement to win a better deal for people living troubled lives
These Five Actions are the key components for a national Troubled Lives Strategy:
• Support people using tried and tested solutions
•Amend the rules on access to health and social care
•Invest in specialist housing
•Make welfare work for people living troubled lives
•Join up policy where it impacts on troubled lives.
Follow the link to find out more http://fiveactions.org/
Making Every Adult Matter (MEAM) – have released their latest bulletin which includes the top three asks for government in the run up to the general election.
The bulletin also brings you the latest news about multiple needs including:
- Multiple needs summit, 22 April **last chance to book**
- Host a conversation on multiple needs policy
- Three asks for the next government
- MEAM Approach: The support we offer
- Follow us on Twitter
Read the full bulletin here
Benefit sanctions are contributing to a rise in homelessness, according to a new study showing there were more than a quarter of a million homeless cases in England last year. Article published by The independent
LankellyChase Foundation with Heriot-Watt University has released the most robust research to date on severe and multiple disadvantage In England. Hard Edges: Mapping Severe and Multiple Disadvantage in England draws together previously separate datasets from homelessness, offending and substance misuse treatment systems. It also takes into account available data around mental health and poverty. It delivers the latest and most comprehensive statistics on people facing severe and multiple disadvantage: where they live, what their lives are like, how effectively they are supported by services, and the economic implications of the disadvantages they face.
Read the full report here:
The Autumn Statement promises better support for people with multiple and complex needs. Responding to the recommendations of the Service Transformation Challenge Panel, the government will look to develop and extend the principles of the Troubled Families programme to other groups of people with complex needs from the next Spending Review. To move in this direction, the government will: Continue reading