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Families First

Establishing ten new integrated, co-located and mixed-skill social work teams to work with families with the most complex needs, focusing on reflective and holistic practices.

Project Description

The Families First programme was developed to support social workers to offer the intensive family support that is needed over a longer timeframe, and to sustain positive relationships with children and families over time.

Families First involved the creation of ten integrated, co-located, and mixed-skill social work teams to work with the most complex families, a programme of workforce development focused on reflective and holistic practices and a programme of communications and change management to minimise disruption.


The DfE-funded independent evaluation published in 2017 found that Durham County Council was still implementing and embedding the Families First changes, with more time needed to fully assess impacts.

Lead Organisation

Durham County Council




North East


Funding Information

Funding theme: Rethinking Social Work

Total amount awarded


Round 1 Feb 2015

Other information