A SCHEME that sets out to help ‘troubled’ families has benefitted 18 families in East Staffordshire.
The Government initiative aims to get children off the streets and into school, reducing youth crime and antisocial behaviour.
Staffordshire County Council is paid up to £4,000 by the Government for each household whose lives it turns around.
Countywide figures for the first year show that around 100 families have benefited from the scheme as a result of the county council working with partners including police, probation, health bodies, and district and borough councils.
Of these families more than 80 have received help with education and antisocial behaviour, and 13 have found work.
The council has also created a ‘rapid response unit’ that is able to work intensively with some of the most challenging families.
The family intervention project became operational last week following support from partner agencies including the police, Families First and the youth and community service.
Robbie Marshall, county council cabinet member for health and wellbeing, said: “These so-called ‘troubled families’ make up a relatively small percentage of the people who live in Staffordshire, but take up a disproportionate amount of time and resources.
“We are serious about getting parents back into work and children back into education, and that is why it is essential to target these families and in some cases change patterns of behaviour which have been passed on from generation to generation.”
To date, 478 families have been identified across Staffordshire as needing extra support to transform their lives and make a contribution to the communities in which they live.
Eric Pickles, Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, said: “Hundreds of thousands of pounds are often spent on these families each year on police call-outs, social workers and benefits. And there is a far greater saving to consider.”
The Government aims to turn around the lives of 120,000 troubled families by 2015.