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Family by Family – peer support

The Family by Family pilot project in Stoke-on-Trent has now finished.

Family by Family was started in Australia, founded by TACSI, The Australian Centre for Social Innovation and connects Sharing Families– a family that has been through tough times and come out the other side – with Seeking Families – families who are going through tough times and want to make change in their lives.

If you are interested in bringing a project like this to your area, please get in touch with Director of Development, Jayne Wilson:

What is Family by Family?

Family by Family in Stoke-on-Trent connected Sharing Families– a family that has been through tough times and come out the other side – with Seeking Families – families  going through tough times who wanted to make change in their lives.

Nobody tells the families what they need to change – everyone’s goals are different.

Together the families worked on achieving goals and move towards thriving lives, supported by a coach.

What was the aim of the pilot programme?

The pilot aimed to show that Family by Family can support families in the UK and enable families to get through tough times, reducing referrals to statutory services or crisis response.

How can I bring Family by Family to my area?

Please note, the Family by Family pilot project in Stoke-on-Trent has now ended.

Shared Lives Plus has a proven track record of bringing community based support to the UK, building on each person’s inherent strengths and personalities. We want more areas to adopt programmes like Family by Family that can redesign our public services so they play to our shared strengths. We are looking for pioneering local authorities who are willing to take the lessons learned through this pilot programme in Stoke-on-Trent and help build kinder and stronger communities.

If you are interested in bringing a project like this to your area, please get in touch with Director of Development, Jayne Wilson:

How are families linked together?

Seeking Families had a choice of families they can get to know. They direct what works for them.

To start with, we offered up to three profiles of local families who may be a suitable match based on shared experience, circumstance or cultural and religious values – whatever was important to the families and would help them get through the tough time.

Both families were supported by a coach who helped them keep focussed on the changes the seeking family wanted to make.

What do families do together?

A Link Up is where two families are connected through our coaches.

Link ups start with families getting to know each other, chatting, sharing stories and doing fun stuff together and building their relationship.

Then both families begin to work on the Seeking Family’s goals, encouraging, helping and celebrating the small wins that happen along the way and practically walking alongside them to achieve their goals.

Link ups enable change for families; in behaviour, social networks, attitudes and protective factors. They enable families to concretely work towards new behaviours by having these role-modelled by another family who has been there and done that.

What kind of things do Sharing Families help with?

Link ups can help families increase social capital through connection to: sporting clubs, voluntary work, coffee clubs, playgroups, local libraries and services.

They can also practically help families with; learning new behaviours, working on home environments, brining attention to the families strength’s, parenting and child development, reducing stress and increasing confidence in the family.

A link up lasts for 10 to 30 weeks, depending on the size of the goal defined by the Seeking Family.

About the partners

Shared Lives Plus

Shared Lives Plus is the UK membership charity for more than 6,000 Shared Lives carers, 150 Shared Lives schemes and a growing network of over 25 local Homeshare organisations. Our vision is a kinder, stronger society built on sharing our lives and our homes. We help build communities where everyone lives a full life, regardless of the support they need. We do this by turning shared living models, such as Shared Lives, Homeshare and Family by Family into thriving, mainstream options, with all the right structures in place to support and guide who want to share their lives.

Stoke-on-Trent City Council

For our city and its residents to achieve their full potential, we need to focus on the outcomes that we want to change and how we are going to achieve this crucial transformation. This includes continuing to look for better ways to deliver our services, and considering whether some of the things we do might be better done by others. As a City Council, we will continue to work with local, regional and national partners to get the very best for our city, and to make it a city we can all be proud of.

TACSI – The Australian Centre for Social Innovation

The Australian Centre for Social Innovation brings people into the heart of shaping their lives and society.

Formed in 2009 as an initiative of the South Australian Government, TACSI is now an independent social enterprise working on projects and initiatives across Australia. Bringing together a unique and diverse team of people from all over the world, the staff at TACSI are all united in their commitment to developing new and better ways to build social and economic prosperity for all.

Department for Education Stoke-on-Trent Opportunity Area

The 12 opportunity areas (OAs) are social mobility cold spots where the Department for Education (DfE) is prioritising resources, and bringing local and national partners together, to break the link between a child’s family background and where they get to in life. The core objective is to improve outcomes for children and young people from early education through to employment.