Think Family

Why is Think Family important?

We have a large volume of information helping us to detail the needs of families in Ealing, including documents such as the State of Ealing, the Joint Strategic Needs Assessment, the Schools Census and the 2011 census.

Key indicators of ‘need’ that are affecting families in Ealing, and which help us to decide the priorities in our Think Family approach, include:

A relatively young population: The population aged 0-4 in the borough increased by more than 28% between 2001 and 2011, and further significant increases are expected in years to come.

Families with multiple and complex needs: An estimated 880 families in Ealing meet two or more of the government’s ‘Troubled Families’ criteria around worklessness, poor school attendance and anti-social behaviour/crime; many of these families are also experiencing multiple additional problems.

Worklessness: There are more than 9,000 workless households in Ealing, and around 13.5% of the working age population is on ‘out of work’ benefits. In June 2012, 3% of those aged 16-18 were Not in Education, Employment or Training (NEET).

Income poverty: An estimated 18,900 children – more than half the children in the borough – now live in families facing income poverty1. Entitlement to free school meals in Ealing stands much higher than the national average, at 23% in primary, 26% at high school level and 40% in special schools2 with the achievement gap at Key Stage 4 between pupils eligible for free school meals and their peers remaining at more than 20% for the Summer 2011 results.

School attendance: There were 29 permanent exclusions from Ealing’s secondary schools in 2010/2011 and 579 referrals to the Children Missing Education team; however, school attendance levels and the provision available for children not in school in the borough remain strong.

Demand for work and skills: Our work and skills programmes have demonstrated a clear ongoing demand from families in the borough. In 2010/2011 the Welcome Programme attracted 940 parents (who had previously not engaged with services) to attend their local Children’s Centre, contributing to over 20,000 children and parents who used Ealing’s Children’s Centres, which included more than 1,400 parents using Work-Focused Services in partnership with Jobcentreplus3.

Domestic violence: Ealing has the fifth highest number of offences among London boroughs, with an estimated 7,400 women experiencing domestic violence every year, and 500 children living with domestic violence in their home4.

West London Mental Health NHS Trust (WLMHT): More than 8,600 clients accessed mental healthcare services in the borough in 2011/2012, of which 1,500 (an increasing proportion) sought support specific to children and families5.

Anti-social behaviour (ASB): Reported cases of ASB in the borough decreased between 2010/2011 and 2011/2012 with an associated reduction in residents’ concerns over ASB reported in the Annual Residents’ Survey. Nevertheless, more than one in five in the survey still indicated concerns over aspects of ASB such as parents taking responsibility for the behaviour of their children.

Youth offenders: There was a reduced number of first-time entrants to Ealing’s Youth Offending Service (YOS) in 2010/2011 with a rate of 980 per 100,000 young people. 94.5% of the borough’s young offenders were engaged in education, training or employment in 2010/2011.

Drug and alcohol abuse: In 2010/2011, 433 of the clients that accessed drug and alcohol treatment services in the borough were recorded as being parents. Of the 601 children in these families, 35 were subject to child protection plans6.

Background information and data helps us to understand the context for our work which, along with experience from our projects and the work of all local services with local families, contributes to a better insight into those families with the strongest needs locally.


1 DWP WLPS 100% data May 10 snapshot Number of Children living in all out of work benefit households age 0-18) 

2 School Census Data 2011 

3 Ealing Early Intervention Strategy

4 University of Warwick research report 2011

5 Performance by WLMHT teams 2010/2011-2011/2012 

6 Information provided by DAAT