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Household support fund

Since October 2022, with the help of educational settings, Staffordshire council voluntary youth services, Staffordshire connects, Beat the cold, Staffordshire community foundation, Staffordshire Fire and rescue and frontline local professionals, we have been able to provide support to over 138,431 households across the county. That support looked like:

  • Over 204,813 food vouchers that have been provided.
  • Over 214,595 utilities vouchers that have been provided.
  • Over 187,737 food vouchers that have been provided to support families during school holidays.
  • Over 8977 people were supported through direct enquiries to the household fund email in box.

Household Support Fund - 1 April 2024 - 30 September 2024

The Department for Work and Pensions has announced a further extension to the Household Support Fund, this funding will run from 1 April 2024 to 30 September 2024.  

  • The previous round of funding closed on 28th March 2024 at 5pm. 
  • The new round of funding and new schemes will be open from 1pm on 2nd April 2024.

As you can see from within the announcement it states: 

"On 6 March 2024 in the Spring Budget the Chancellor announced that the Household Support Fund (HSF) would be extended for a further six months, from 1 April 2024 to 30 September 2024, with a further £421m of funding (nationally). As has been done for previous schemes, the fund will be made available to County Councils and Unitary Authorities in England to support those most in need"

This funding can be used at the discretion of County Councils and Unitary Authorities in England to support households with the essential costs relating to food and utilities.  Staffordshire County Council are proposing to use this funding in the following ways: -


1. Education support fund

We will continue to support Education Settings in Staffordshire by providing £20.00 supermarket eVouchers for children that meet the eligibility criteria.  

1. The child needs to be attending an education setting in Staffordshire in the term before the holiday, and the setting must be claiming one of the following funding streams for the child:

  • Benefit-related Free School Meals
  • Think 2 funding 
  • Early Years Pupil Premium (EYPP) 

2. We also provide Education Support Fund vouchers for:

  • Children who attend alternative and independent provision who would be eligible for benefit-related Free School Meals.
  • Our care leavers.

The number of vouchers per child for each holiday is outlined below:

  • Spring 2024 half term - 1 x £20.00 voucher per child
  • Summer 2024 holidays - 1 x £40.00 voucher per child

For Summer holiday 2024, the Holiday Activities and Food programme is also delivered that children can access.


2. Care leavers support

We will be continuing to provide support for children who are leaving our care and moving into adulthood with two £65.00 supermarket eVouchers utilising this funding allocation.  

The number of vouchers per care leaver is outlined below:

  • June 2024 – 1 x £65.00 voucher
  • September – 1 x £65.00 voucher 


3. Professionals referral scheme

We will continue to provide a professionals referral route, so that residents in Staffordshire can access additional help from the professionals they are working with. 

This also ensures that the household is accessing support from the professional who has an awareness of their needs around their debt, finances or personal circumstances.

Professionals from the approved referrers list will be able to continue to identify households they are working with, who are facing financial hardship and are most in need. Particularly those who may not be eligible for other government support that has been made available but nevertheless still in need of financial assistance.  

The professional referral scheme will see eligible households benefit from a supermarket e-Voucher for £65 per household and £20 per additional dependant e.g. child or a person they care for.

Each household can access this funding once during this six-month funding period. To enable the fund to benefit as many households throughout Staffordshire as possible.  This may include, but is not limited to, residents who are entitled to but not claiming qualifying benefits, people who are claiming Housing Benefit and a range of low-income households in need. Including households and families who are in employment and receiving support around their debt, finances, or personal circumstances. Including children of all ages, pensioners, unpaid carers, care leavers and disabled people.  

The online referral form remains in place and is open throughout the year for professionals to make a referral for any household that is receiving support around their debt, finances, or personal circumstances.

Individuals, families and households can ask a professional who they are working with, or who knows the family well, to make an application.

Any professional who requires further information on how to access the professional referral scheme, can email


If you are an individual or a household and would like to access support from the household support fund but you aren’t engaging with professionals around your financial or personal circumstances, please email our Family Hub coaches who will be able to provide information and signposting around your individual personal circumstance.  Please reach out with your name and the district you reside in and someone from the team will get back to you as soon as possible


  • Professional Referral Scheme is open for applications from 1pm on 2 April 2024 – 30 September 2024 
  • 1x Voucher for £65 per household and £20 per additional dependant e.g. child or a person you care for.  

4. Emergency Payments

The Household Support Fund’s primary purpose is to support vulnerable households with energy and water bills, food, and wider essentials. 

We will prioritise support which offers an immediate impact to those in need at crisis point. We will support Section 17 expenses that fall within the eligible spend within the Household support fund requirements. 

This fund will be accessible by Social Workers or Senior Family Support Workers following the use of Section 17 Funding – Guidance for staff members.

  • Varied funding allocation per household, dependent upon the professional assessment of immediate household emergency need.


5. Financial Wellbeing Support

We will continue to invest in a programme of Financial Wellbeing Support which is offered to households requesting support. This will provide households with a sustainable plan to manage and thrive after the household support fund ends.

Financial Wellbeing support can help any household in Staffordshire to build a sustainable and realistic household budget, explore areas to review and decrease their spending, including how to look after their mental health and self-assessments to improve their overall financial wellbeing.

Listening to the feedback from our households we have already provided support to, we have co-produced what this programme will be and that it should be offered in a variety of ways to maximise engagement to meet the needs of our families and households such as:

  • Online, a six-week self-help online course, each week the household are emailed simple activities that are designed to help them understand and improve their Financial Wellbeing, at their own pace.  The Household Support Fund (HSF) Family Hub Coaches are then on hand via email, text, or face to face to provide any additional check in points, coaching, signposting support.
  • Online Financial wellbeing workshops and drop-ins, A 3-week course that replicates the online offer with some fun activities included and time to check in and share.
  • Face to Face - Financial wellbeing workshops will be delivered within each of our districts.  A six-week course that replicates the online offer with some fun activities included.
  • Support available within the community – Our HSF Family Hub Coaches will attend local community events and groups to promote their service and support with referrals into the HSF where appropriate.
  • Information, advice and guidance support with signposting and referral completion - Where required our HSF Family Hub Coaches will provide support to households to access the HSF funding and more specialist support for example signposting for debt management support. Or where personal circumstances require signposting to existing advice services funded through other routes, such as talking therapies or the Help to Claim scheme which supports those making a claim to Universal Credit (UC).

This support will continue to be available for the duration of the funding.  For more information, please reach out with your details and the district you reside in and someone from the team will get back to you as soon as possible.

Email financialwellbeing@staffordshire.gov.uk


6.  Utility Debt Support

Through reviewing the support households shared that they need with as part the last round of household support fund allocation.  Households told us that energy bills remain a high priority concern to them.   We will continue to prioritize supporting households with the cost of energy through the household support fund. Supported through partner organisations we will continue to provide a grant distribution of £450.00 per household directly to the household’s energy supplier. 

Applications to the Utility Debt Support Fund will be available through our current professional referral route for residents across Staffordshire, so that anyone with utility debt can ask for additional help from the professionals that are currently supporting them.   If eligible, households will be encouraged to apply or supported to apply by our HSF Family Hub Coaches as part of the financial wellbeing coaching support program.

This ensures that households are accessing professional support around their debt, finances, or personal circumstances.  Each referral will be authorized for payment once evidence has been provided to show the current utility debt.

  • Professional Referral Scheme is open for applications from 1pm on 2 April 2024 – 30 September 20204
  • 1x £450 per household direct to the energy supplier. 


7. Approved referrers list

Key Workers from the list of the approved referrers that can access the Professionals Referral Scheme. If you are a key worker and require access to the referral link please email householdsupportfund@staffordshire.gov.uk  

  • Staffordshire County Council
  • Registered social landlords.
  • District / Borough Councils
  • Health
  • Citizen's Advice Bureau
  • SCVYS members
  • Support Staffordshire Members
  • Job Centre
  • Police
  • Education settings in Staffordshire
  • Staffordshire County Councils Family Support Providers

If you'd like some more information on how Staffordshire County Council will use this funding, please view the cabinet report on our website. Any underspend across one of the areas can be used for any other scheme flexibly dependant on the needs. 

There is also a range of support for people in need of help and support including: 

  • Here to help - cost of living support - Staffordshire County Council – On these pages you’ll find information, advice, and support to help you manage cost of living pressures.
  • Help for Households - Get government cost of living support – Government website to see what cost of living support you could be eligible for.
  • Family Hub Cooking - Find guidance on cooking for a family on a budget on the Staffordshire Connects website. 
  • Staffordshire Connects - Find help and support locally. You can find support for families and children, adults, and people who have special educational needs (SEND). There are also family support providers who can help you with 1:1 support if it's needed. 
  • Family Hub social media - below are links to our family hub social media pages. We use this platform to advertise any funding that can be applied for directly by families as and when it becomes available. 


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