MORE than 300 “troubled” Wirral families have been helped under a Government scheme designed to “turn their lives around.”
They are among 2,767 Merseyside families who, according to the Government, are “back on track” after intervention by local authority specialist teams.
Speaking at the Local Government Association annual conference in Bournemouth, communities secretary Eric Pickles announced that 52,833 of the most troubled families in England have been turned around by local authority teams since April 2012.
Mr Pickles said this means that:
• Children are back in school for three consecutive terms where they were previously truant or excluded.
• High levels of youth crime and anti-social behaviour have been significantly reduced.
• Adults that were on benefits have been in work for at least three months.
The secretary of state said that councils all over England had risen to the challenge of helping whole families improve their lives, through a “tough love” approach that combines intensive and practical support.
Mr Pickles said: “To have helped so many families so quickly is testament to the hard work and determination of troubled families teams across the country.
“Nobody is saying that troubled families will become model citizens overnight but turning them around starts with getting kids off the streets and into school, giving them a better chance in life, and helping adults into employment or better able to work.
“This is good for the taxpayer, good for the families themselves and good for the communities around them.”
Local authorities are paid up to £4,000 on a payment-by-results basis for turning around troubled families.
The Government’s £448m, three-year budget for 2012 to 2015 is drawn from six Whitehall departments who all stand to benefit from the public sector working more effectively with troubled families.
At the Spending Review last year it was announced that the “Troubled Families programme" would be expanded to work with more families.
The Budget in March announced that work with up to 40,000 of these families would begin this year.
Some 900 families living in Wirral have been identified as being in the “troubled” category.