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Friday, 19 September 2014

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Hundreds of troubled families in Cumbria helped by new scheme

HUNDREDS of troubled families in Cumbria have been helped by a new government programme.

The lives of more than 200 troubled families in Cumbria have been turned around in the first two years of a government initiative, according to the latest figures.

Prime Minister David Cameron today welcomed the news that the Troubled Families programme has helped almost 40,000 families across England, getting children off the streets and into school and supporting people to get back to work.

A progress update published by the Department for Communities and Local Government showed that 266 families in Cumbria have been turned around since April 2012.

Cumbria County Council has also identified 1,050 families in need of help, and is currently working with 613.

Across England, 39,480 families have now been turned around since the programme began – a number which has almost doubled in the past six months. This means that in nearly 40,000 troubled families:

Children who were truanting or excluded have now been back in school for 3 consecutive terms and;

Youth crime and anti-social behaviour across the household have been significantly reduced or;

An adult in the household has been employed for at least 3 consecutive months.

With each troubled family estimated to cost an average of £75,000 a year, these 40,000 families could have been costing the taxypayer in the region of £3 billion per year without intervention.

David Cameron said that the fact that truancy, youth crime and anti-social behaviour have been significantly reduced in 40,000 homes; and adults are in a job or better able to work, was helping to secure a better future for both these families and the country as a whole.

Mr Cameron said: “Getting some of our country’s most troubled families’ lives back on track is a key part of our long-term plan - it saves the taxpayer money, gives people the chance to get on in life and secures a better future for these families, their communities and for our country.”

He was speaking two years after setting out a challenge to improve the behaviour and reduce the problems of the 120,000 most troubled families in England, bringing down their estimated £9 billion annual cost to the taxpayer. Under the programme one team works with the whole of a family on all of its problems in a tough, intensive and coordinated way, getting to grips with what is really going on in the home, rather than different services reacting to individual problems.

Today’s figures show that more than 111,000 families have been identified for help by councils, of which 97,000 are now being actively worked with under the programme.

This means that councils are on course to meet the Prime Minister’s challenge, with the rate of progress gathering speed as the intensive and practical work with the families pays off.

Communities and Local Government Secretary Eric Pickles said: “The Troubled Families programme is good for the economy as it reduces the £9 billion annual cost to the taxpayer and helps people back into work.

“It also improves life for communities which see less crime and anti-social behaviour and, most importantly, supports families who get a chance to have a brighter future.

“Progress is being made in all corners of the country and I’m proud that this Government is taking action to help change the lives of the families most in need.”

Head of the Troubled Families programme Louise Casey CB added: “This programme works because it is about dealing with all members of the family and all of its problems, being tough but supportive and providing intensive, practical help.

“Councils have changed the way they work with troubled families to make sure that one team or worker is providing that support, not a dozen different public services. In doing so they are now seeing results which mean that more families will be able to be helped in the future.”

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