The government’s Troubled Families programme has now helped turn around the lives of nearly 15,000 of the hardest to help households in the North West, according to the latest statistics.

With over 99 per cent of families the Prime Minister pledged to support now being actively worked with, councils have had payments-by-results made for over two thirds of their families.

This means that in 85,303 troubled families in England:

  • Children have been back in school for a year when they were previously truant or excluded;
  • and youth crime and anti-social behaviour has been significantly cut across the whole family;
  • or an adult in the home has moved off benefits and into work for three months or more.

The success of the programme means that a second wave of councils are now beginning work with more families ahead of schedule, including Blackburn with Darwen, Chester West and Chester, Halton, Sefton, St Helens and Wirral.

Up to 40,000 additional families can begin to be helped by dedicated workers in this financial year in the highest-performing areas.

Communities Secretary Eric Pickles said:

“The Troubled Families programme demonstrates exactly what our long-term economic plan means for people.

“New opportunities for families to turn their lives around and make something of themselves; more economic security for local communities blighted by worklessness; and more economic stability for taxpayers, as we reduce the bills for social failure and get this country living within its means.

“It’s a triple-win, an amazing programme, and we’re going to extend its reach as far as possible.”

Chief Secretary to the Treasury Danny Alexander said:

“I helped establish the Troubled Families programme because improving the lives of society’s most vulnerable is one of the best ways to achieve our aim of a stronger economy and fairer society.

“I am proud that this programme is delivering real results, having helped turn around the lives of families by putting children back into school, cutting anti-social behaviour, and moving adults into work.

“It’s great news that more than 85,000 troubled families in England have seen real, tangible improvements in their lives thanks to this programme, and that 99% of eligible families are now being actively worked with.”

Head of the Troubled Families programme Louise Casey CB said:

“To have turned around the lives of over 85,000 troubled families – who have an average of nine serious problems each – in two and a half years is a credit to the councils, the frontline staff and most of all to the families themselves.

“This programme works because it is joined up and it seeks to simplify things rather than make them more complicated. It focuses on whatever it takes to do what really matters: getting kids into school, the toughest families out of trouble with the police and adults into a position where they can find a job.”

Local authorities in England 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.

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 without intervention

Turning around troubled families 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

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