Troubled Families programme on track to help 120,000 'high-risk' households

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New figures from the Government’s Troubled Families programme show that halfway into the three-year programme, more than fifty-per-cent (62,000) of the 120,000 identified households are being worked with.


Communities secretary Eric Pickles

The data for September to October shows that the lives of more than 22,000 ‘troubled families’ have been 'turned around', up from 14,000 three months prior.

 The Department for Communities and Local Government, which administers the programme, said as a result of the scheme more children are back in school, levels of youth crime and anti-social behaviour have significantly reduced and over 1,400 ‘hard to help’ adults are now in work.

According to communities secretary Eric Pickles, the payment-by-results initiative remains on track to meet the Prime Minister’s target of turning around 12,000 families by 2015.

The statistics also show that 92,000 families, over three-quarters of the 120,000, have now been identified by councils as meeting the criteria for the payment-by-results programme.

The Department for Communities and Local Government says that the London borough of Wandsworth is working with 90 per cent of its ‘troubled families’, while Wakefield has turned around the lives of more than half of its 930 ‘troubled families’.

Tower Hamlets Council has also received praise from the Government for the number of families it has helped through the programme.

The council says it is working with 550 of its 800 families identified as meeting the criteria for the programme, with more than 150 households having made ‘significant changes’ in their lives.

The communities secretary Eric Pickles said, ‘I am delighted that our programme is already helping half of our target of 120,000 troubled families at its mid-way stage. Councils are making great strides in a very short space of time, dealing with families that have often had problems and created serious issues in their communities for generations. These results show that these problems can be dealt with through a no nonsense and common sense approach, bringing down costs to the taxpayer at the same time.'

Louise Casey, head of the Troubled Families programme, added, ‘This programme is getting to grips with families who for too long have been allowed to be caught up in a cycle of despair. These results show that a tough, intensive but supportive approach has a big impact, giving hope and opportunity to the families and respite to the communities around them.’

Commenting on the new figures, Anne Longfield, chief executive of 4Children, said, ‘These new figures are encouraging, however this is a long journey for many troubled families, and we know that families in some areas are receiving more effective support than others.

‘Support if effective when services and professionals work together to provide the joined-up and personalised support that families need.

‘Children’s centres have enormous expertise in supporting disadvantaged families, so it is worrying that 4Children’s Children’s Centre Census shows that  over half have not been asked to support their local Troubled Families programme. Where professionals are not working together, public money is being wasted and families are not getting the joined-up help they need.’

In June, the Government announced it would be committing a further £200m of funding for 2015/16 to extend the Troubled Families programme to help more ‘high-risk’ families.

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