News story

Eric Pickles hails progress in troubled families programme

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

Eric Pickles welcomes news that more than a quarter of the government’s target 120,000 troubled families are already being worked with.

The Secretary of State for Local Government said the figures showed that councils are on course to meet the Prime Minister’s target of having children back in school, cutting youth crime and anti-social behaviour and putting parents on a path back to work by 2015.

Figures from local authorities released by the Department for Communities and Local Government on Monday showed that by the end of the first year of the 3 year payment-by-results programme in March:

  • more than 35,000 troubled families were being worked with, up from 22,000 in December 2012
  • councils had identified more than 66,000 of the 120,000 families the Prime Minister pledged to turn around by 2015

Eric Pickles was on Monday visiting Leicestershire to meet families and workers with head of the Troubled Families Programme Louise Casey CB. The County Council there has already identified 679 of its 810 families - 170% of those it agreed to in the first year of the programme - and is already actively working with 470.

Local Government Secretary Eric Pickles said:

The Troubled Families programme is on track to deliver life-changing results for families and communities across the country. Many services have been set up from scratch over the past year so it is remarkable progress to already be reaching a quarter of the families who need help to change.

Troubled families are often living miserable lives and can also cause misery to the communities around them, draining around £9 billion per year from the public purse. This programme is not only transforming the lives of families we have too often not got to grips with in the past, but it will deliver considerable savings to the taxpayer by reducing their demand on services and helping them make a positive contribution to society instead.

Leicestershire County Council Cabinet Lead for Families Ivan Ould said:

There are vulnerable families out there who need help and who cost the taxpayer a lot of money. By working together in our Supporting Families Programme, our agencies will be able to offer these families a better and more cost effective service.

Further information

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
  • putting adults on a path back to work
  • cutting the costs to the taxpayer of tackling their problems.

Full details of the government’s payment by results framework for troubled families can be found on the DCLG website.

The figures from local authorities on progress within the first year of the government’s Troubled Families programme in regard to families ‘identified’ and families being ‘worked with’ 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 March 2013. These do not constitute official statistics.

Full details of these returns are available for download: