Press release

14,000 troubled families turned around

This news article was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

The Troubled Families scheme has turned around the lives of 14,000 of England’s toughest to tackle households in just 15 months.

The figure represents a seven-fold increase from January which means:

  • children are back in school where they were previously playing truant or excluded
  • high levels of youth crime and anti-social behaviour are down
  • adults are getting off benefits and into work
  • the costs to public services and burden on the taxpayer are being reduced too

Communities Secretary Eric Pickles reported today (10 September 2013) that overall councils have now identified 80,000 of the hardest to help families who will be targeted for intervention by the programme. 50,000 families are already being worked with - up from 35,000 in March - and the scheme remains on track to meet the Prime Minister’s target of turning around 120,000 families by 2015.

David Cameron praised the work of councils and the Department for Communities and Local Government in implementing the payment-by-results programme and said the results showed that no family was beyond help.

The Prime Minister said:

I am determined that we help people to get on in life including those families where things may be going wrong. For some, that starts with attending school every day, staying out of trouble with the police and taking practical steps towards work, just as other families do. Every month more and more of the most troubled families are getting help to deal with these issues head-on. That is good for those families, their community and our country as a whole.

Communities Secretary Eric Pickles said:

These figures show that our no-nonsense and common sense approach is changing these families for the better and benefiting the whole community. Considering the often longstanding and deep-seated nature of these families’ problems, it is a huge achievement to have turned so many around in such a short space of time. And instead of several costly services working with the same family but failing to solve the underlying problems, this approach is both more effective for the family and cheaper too.

Head of the Troubled Families programme Louise Casey CB said:

Councils deserve credit for taking up the challenge of the Troubled Families programme and achieving results so quickly. By dealing with all the family members and all of their problems in a tough and intensive way we are finally getting to grips with problems which may have persisted for generations, giving hope to people who have often been failed in the past and relief for the communities that suffered the effects of their behaviour.

Further information

The Troubled Families programme and this press notice apply to England only.

Eric Pickles and Louise Casey this week visited the Families First troubled families programme of the Royal Borough of Greenwich in London, which is well above the national average with 21% of its troubled families already turned around. Greenwich has turned around 163 of its 790 troubled families and is working with 358.

Troubled families are defined as those who:

  • are involved in youth crime or anti-social behaviour
  • have children who are regularly truanting
  • have an adult on out-of-work benefits
  • cost the public sector large sums in responding to their problems, an estimated average of £75,000 per year

The government is committed to turning around the lives of 120,000 troubled families by 2015: getting children back into school; cutting youth crime and anti-social behaviour across the whole family; getting adults into work; and reducing the costs to the taxpayer of tackling their problems. See full details of the government’s payment by results framework for troubled families.

The figures from local authorities on progress within the first 15 months of the government’s Troubled Families programme have been collated from the latest quarterly returns submitted to DCLG’s Troubled Families Team from all 152 upper tier local authorities in England in July 2013. These do not constitute official statistics. See full details of these returns.

Local authorities are paid up to £4,000 on a payment-by-results basis for turning around troubled families. The government’s £448 million 3-year budget for 2012 to 2015 is drawn from across 6 Whitehall departments who all stand to benefit from the public sector working more effectively with troubled families.

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