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OS data targets help for troubled families

The Troubled Families programme was launched in 2011 to help families who struggle with debt, homelessness, mental health issues, domestic violence, poor parenting, illness or substance misuse.

Bristol City Council (BCC) introduced Ordnance Survey’s AddressBase® to reliably merge a number of datasets from partners and more easily identify families eligible for the programme.

What were the challenges?

  • There are 120,000 troubled families in the UK costing the public purse approximately £9 billion a year.
  • Working with 4,200 families within the BCC area over five years of the programme (2015-2020).
  • Working proactively with families to find lasting solutions to their problems, rather than merely reacting to crises.
  • Building a picture of a family from around 30 indicators coming from different data sources.
  • Finding a reliable and consistent address format to match across all datasets.
  • Reducing demand on public services in the long term and the associated costs.

What was the solution?

BCC developed a process and supporting infrastructure to bring together the most complete picture the city has ever seen of the social issues families are facing.

The process was initially created to identify families eligible for the Troubled Families programme; however the potential is far wider than just this. It is about breaking down barriers for information sharing and ensuring we can identify and support the most vulnerable people across the city

Gary Davies, Troubled Families Co-ordinator

By using Ordnance Survey’s AddressBase®, a number of hurdles (both technical and legal) around data sharing were overcome. With the Unique Property Reference Numbers (UPRNs) within AddressBase, BCC could reliably merge a number of datasets from partners.

Also, by matching initially against households, BCC is assured that personally-identifiable information is only shared when it’s known the family is eligible for the programme.

What were the outcomes?

  • Simpler data extraction for partners.
  • Improved, timely, data sharing.
  • Quicker and more reliable merging of datasets.
  • De-personalised to ensure compliance with data protection.
  • Easier identification of eligible households, to ensure a holistic approach to working with families.
  • Enabled strategic spatial analysis,and predictive analysis of families across the city.

The products used

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