The aim of the programme is not just to help people find work but to help people get to a point where thinking of employment as a realistic option, is a major step forward. Households into Work started in March 2018 and is jointly funded by both the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority and the Department for Work and Pensions. The programme employs a team of 25, comprising of 6 senior employment advocates and 19 employment advocates.
The advocates work across all 6 of the Liverpool City Region’s local authorities, mostly working on an outreach basis. The advocates provide people who start on the programme with 1:1 support, helping them tackle and resolve issues which are preventing them from seeking employment and for which they have no or limited access to people or services that might otherwise help them. The issues faced by people on the programme are complex and varied including debt and finance, housing, mental health illness, victim of domestic violence, addiction(s), isolation and disaffection. Until such issues are tackled, finding and sustaining employment is a very unlikely and unrealistic expectation.
People can remain on the programme for upto 12 months during which time the advocate will help the individual identify, prioritise and tackle the issues which are preventing them from seeking and sustaining employment. Unlike similar programmes, other members of the household will be encouraged to join the programme so that the issues can be addressed collectively as well as individually.
This whole household approach means issues which affect one member of the household but are caused by another member of the household, can be better addressed. This approach is much more likely to lead to a lasting solution when compared to approaches which work with the individual in isolation. Advocates also have access to funding, which can be used to purchase goods or services that can help underpin the work the advocate is doing with the individual or the household.