Press release

Troubled Families programme on track at half way stage

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

New figures show that the government’s ambition to turn around the lives of 120,000 troubled families is on track at its half way stage.

Troubled family.

The government’s ambition to turn around the lives of 120,000 troubled families is on track at its half way stage, Communities Secretary Eric Pickles said today (25 November 2013).

New figures from the Department for Communities and Local Government showed that 18 months in to the 3-year programme over 62,000 families are being worked with and over 22,000 have been turned around: with children back in school; levels of youth crime and anti-social behaviour significantly reduced; and over 1,400 adults from some of England’s hardest-to-help households now in continuous work.

The statistics also showed that 92,000 families - over 3 quarters of the 120,000 - have now been identified by councils as meeting the criteria for the payment-by-results programme.

Progress is being made right across the country: Wandsworth is working with 90% of its troubled families and Newcastle is working with 80%; while Wakefield has already turned more than half of its 930 troubled families around and Leicestershire almost half of its 810.

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.

Danny Alexander, Chief Secretary to the Treasury, said:

I am pleased to see that the Troubled Families programme is delivering results and helping thousands of people turn their lives around. This radical programme demonstrates how, by spending a bit more in certain areas, we can save much more in others and by doing so create a stronger economy and a fairer society.

Head of the Troubled Families programme Louise Casey CB said:

This programme is getting to grips with families who for too long have been 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.

Further information

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

Troubled families are defined as those who:

  • are involved in youth crime or anti-social behaviour
  • have children who are excluded from school or 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. This means:

  • getting children back into school
  • cutting youth crime and anti-social behaviour across the whole family
  • getting adults into work
  • 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 18 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 October 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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Published 25 November 2013