Troubled Families scheme helps thousands across Manchester in just one year

The lives of thousands across Manchester are being turned around thanks to the government’s Troubled Families Programme aimed at helping those struggling to get by.

In just one year, the scheme, which gets dedicated council teams working with people on problems such as high levels of truancy, youth crime, anti-social behaviour and unemployment, has helped almost 3,800 families.

In November 2013 the programme had improved the lives of 1,700 families, a figure which has risen to 5,500 this year.

Head of the Troubled Families Programme Louise Casey said: “This programme is working so effectively because it deals with the whole family and all of their problems, with one key worker going in through the front door and getting to grips with an average of nine different problems, rather than a series of services failing to engage or get the family to change.

“It is a fantastic achievement to have built up Troubled Families teams so quickly so that 117,000 families are now being worked with and 69,000 have already been turned around.”

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 skip classes and have an adult on out-of-work benefits.

Struggling families cost the public sector large sums, in responding to their problems an estimated average of £75,000 would be spent per year, without intervention.

Eric Pickles said he was delighted that, with over nine months still to go for the three-year initiative, more than 69,000 families had met the payment-by-results criteria by turning their lives around.

The payment-by-results criteria include getting the children of families facing hardship back in school where they had previously been persistently absent, or reducing levels of youth crime and anti-social behaviour.

The conditions can also be met by a move off benefits and into work for an adult in the home for three consecutive months or more.

Local authorities are paid up to £4,000 on a payment-by-results basis for helping change the lives of families suffering adversity.

Communities Secretary Eric Pickles welcomed the success of the Troubled Families programme, which has helped 69,000 families nationwide.

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.”

Image courtesy of LSE In Pictures, via Flickr, with thanks

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