The role of the Task Force is to coordinate the Government's drive against social exclusion, ensuring that the cross–departmental approach delivers for those most in need. The Task Force will champion the needs of the most disadvantaged members of society within Government, ensuring that as with the rest of the public service reform agenda, we put people first.
The Government has announced the next steps in its programme to tackle social exclusion, supporting twelve new projects to help the most chronically excluded adults in society.
Reaching Out: Think Family is the first stage of our Families At Risk Review. This report sets out interim analysis and themes on the multiple problems faced by some of the most excluded families in society.
The report focuses on public services and asks what more can be done to improve the outcomes of the small minority of families who continue to experience multiple problems in their lives. In particular, it poses questions to adults– services about the extent to which they treat their clients as parents and family members. The report suggests that there are opportunities to better coordinate all services so that they can tackle the root causes of families' disadvantage.
Social Exclusion Minister Pat McFadden and Kate Billingham, Deputy Chief Nursing Officer, recently joined ‘Early intervention’ pioneer, Professor David Olds, to share experiences and ideas at a Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures & Commerce (RSA) event.
Professor Olds from the University of Colorado marked his visit to England with a speech at the RSA this week. A pioneer in devising new approaches to early intervention in the first few years of a child’s life, Professor Olds discussed in detail his work and experiences. This included the Nurse Family Partnership, a programme he established in the US and has been developing for over 25 years, which is now being piloted in England.
Pat McFadden said:
‘If we know about the importance of the early months and years of a child’s life, and we know about the cycle of disadvantage that can be passed from generation to generation, cutting off opportunity and aspiration, and we know we have a programme that offers a lot of promise in challenging this pattern, then it would be wrong to turn away from that.’
The Cabinet Office Social Exclusion Task Force has released new information revealing that over 140,000 families in England and Wales are at risk of permanent social exclusion and need targeted personalised services aimed at whole family issues. Hilary Armstrong, Cabinet Minister for Social Exclusion, announced a review into how to reach families at risk at a conference with health and social service workers in Brighton. She was joined by Pat McFadden, Social Exclusion Minister.
In March 2007 the Social Exclusion Task Force held a series of regional conferences in Brighton, Birmingham and Leeds. The aim of the conferences was to talk to key national and local stakeholders on our progress to date, including the pilot projects announced in the Action Plan and developments in systemic reform. Cabinet Social Exclusion Minister Hilary Armstrong gave the keynote speech at each conference and was supported by a number of guest speakers. In the afternoon, workshops asked participants for their ideas on our review of excluded and at–risk families.
The Prime Minister, at his monthly press conference, set out progress on tackling social exclusion six months after the publication of the cross-Government Social Exclusion Action Plan. In a presentation, he showed the Government's success in improving lives for the most disadvantaged groups but also set out the challenges in reaching those hard to reach groups, caught in a cycle of disadvantage.