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Troubled Families scheme on course for success

PUBLISHED: 07:00 09 January 2015

Troubled families are being helped turn their lives around

Troubled families are being helped turn their lives around

Archant

The government programme that aims to reduce the financial and social cost of “troubled families” has successfully “turned around” more than three quarters of those targeted.

Under the scheme, launched in 2011, one council team works with the whole of a family on all of its problems in a tough, intensive and co-ordinated way, rather than different services reacting to individual problems.

It covers families with serious issues such as drug and alcohol abuse, crime and anti-social behaviour, mental health and those receiving work-related benefits.

Of the 415 in Havering, 322 (77.6 per cent) have now been turned round, more than the London average (66.1pc) and national average (72.4pc).

The borough now been chosen for phase 2 of the programme, which will begin after the General Election in May. It will continue to tackle the same issues and additionally work with children who are in danger of leaving school without qualifications, and families where a parent is due to leave jail.

Cllr Meg Davis, cabinet member for children and learning, said: “Our work on this programme is important as it’s helping to change the lives of some of the borough’s most vulnerable families. We are well on track to improve the future of all families on our programme by the time the first phase finishes this spring.

“Tackling the issues facing these families will help them to become self-reliant, so they will not need to rely on help from us and other authorities in the future.”

The reward-based scheme has seen Havering receive £300,000 from the government, which has been used to support further work as part of the programme within schools, children’s centres, the youth offending service and voluntary and community groups.

More than half (56.1pc/233) of the families are now achieving a 60pc reduction in crime and anti-social behaviour in the past six months, as well as less than 15pc unauthorised absence from school.

Havering chose to work with Job Centre Plus (JCP) to get people into sustained employment. With at least one parent in 89 families now in work, the borough is ranked fourth best in London for the area.

The neighbouring boroughs have had varied success in the scheme.

Redbridge has also turned around 77.6pc of its 550 troubled families, Barking and Dagenham 79.1pc of 645 and Newham 61.1pc of 985.


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