Speaking at the Local Government Association annual conference in Bournemouth today (9 July 2014), Communities Secretary Eric Pickles announced that 52,833 of the most troubled families in England had been put back on track by local authority teams since April 2012.
This means that:
children are back in school for 3 consecutive terms where they were previously truant or excluded
high levels of youth crime and anti-social behaviour have been significantly reduced
and/or adults that were on benefits have been in work for at least 3 months
High-performing areas include Wakefield, which has turned around 925 out of its 930 troubled families; Leicestershire, which has turned around 772 out of 810; and Bristol, which has turned around 1,158 out of 1,355.
The Secretary of State said that councils all over England had risen to the challenge of helping whole families improve their lives, through a ‘tough love’ approach that combines intensive and practical support.
Eric Pickles said:
To have helped so many families so quickly is testament to the hard work and determination of troubled families teams across the country.
Nobody is saying that troubled families will become model citizens overnight but turning them around starts with getting kids off the streets and into school, giving them a better chance in life, and helping adults into employment or better able to work.
This is good for the taxpayer, good for the families themselves and good for the communities around them.
Troubled Families programme timeline showing progress since launch to May 2014
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 6 Whitehall departments who all stand to benefit from the public sector working more effectively with troubled families.
At the Spending Review last year it was announced that the Troubled Families programme would be expanded to work with more families. The Budget in March 2014 announced that work with up to 40,000 of these families would begin this year.