Wakefield’s Troubled Families scheme praised

Date: 01/05/2014
Ref: PR 4552

Wakefield Council has successfully turned around the lives of 795 troubled families as part of a ground-breaking government scheme.

New figures released by the Department for Communities and Local Government, show that Wakefield's Troubled Families scheme has turned around 85% of its 930 troubled families.

Cllr Peter Box, Leader of Wakefield Council said: "It is great to see that Wakefield is leading the way, with the programme achieving results so quickly in the district. By supporting all the family members and their issues in an intensive way we are helping to improve the lives of these families and their local communities that may have suffered the effects of their behaviour".

"The work this scheme is doing is vital in supporting people to get back into employment, which is proven to reduce incidents of crime, helping them secure a better life for the whole family. We know there are some serious challenges ahead in maintaining progress - we are aiming to meet those challenges in tough financial circumstances."

The figures show great progress in Wakefield, towards the Local Services Board Partner's strategic priorities, which the Council's Troubled Families programme is supporting.

The progress of the programme means that: children are back in school where they were previously playing truant or excluded; high levels of youth crime and anti-social behaviour are down; adults are getting off benefits and into work; and the costs to the Council and taxpayer are being reduced too.

Troubled families are defined as those who:
• are involved in youth crime or anti-social behaviour
• have children who are regularly truanting
• have an adult on out-of-work benefits
• cost the public sector an estimated average of £75,000 per year.

 Head of the Troubled Families programme Louise Casey CB said: "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."
For more information about the Council's Troubled Families Programme visit www.wakefield.gov.uk