Thursday, 15 December 2011

Government announces plans to tackle 8,090 troubled families in Greater Manchester

Plans to radically transform the lives of the country’s most troubled families were today announced by the Prime Minister David Cameron and Communities Secretary Eric Pickles.

Indicative numbers of troubled families in each local authority area have also been published based on previous government research, which show an estimated 8,090 families in Greater Manchester.

Almost £450million has been made available in a new, determined, cross-government drive to turn around the lives of 120,000 of some of the country’s most troubled families by the end of this Parliament. New figures show that troubled families cost the tax payer an estimated £9billion per year, equivalent to £75,000 per family.

This is spent on protecting the children in these families and responding to the crime and anti-social behaviour they perpetrate. The costs are exemplified by the fact that children who live in troubled families are 36 times more likely to be excluded from school and six times more likely to have been in care or to have contact with the police.

A new Troubled Families Team based within the Department for Communities and Local Government and headed by Louise Casey CB, has been established to join up efforts across Whitehall, provide expert help to local areas and drive forward the strategy.

The £450million means the Government will offer up to 40 per cent of the cost of dealing with these families to local authorities, but on a payment-by-results basis when they and their partners achieve success with families.

The new programme will also fund a national network of Troubled Family 'Trouble-Shooters' who will be appointed by local councils. The trouble-shooters will oversee the programme of action in their area.

The Prime Minister, who formally launched the programme in the West Midlands this morning said:

“Last year the state spent an estimated £9 billion on just 120,000 families, around £75,000 per family. Our heart tells us we can't just stand by while people live these lives and cause others so much misery. Our head tells us we can't afford to keep footing the monumental bills for social failure. So we have got to take action to turn troubled families around.

“This immense task will take new ways of thinking, committed local action, flexibility and perseverance. But I know too that it's a task we can't shirk. People in troubled families aren't worthless or pre-programmed to fail. I won't allow them to be written off. So we must get out there, help them their lives around and heal the scars of the broken society.”

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