Families experiencing unemployment, poor school attendance, mental health issues, anti-social behaviour and domestic abuse are to benefit from the government's Troubled Families scheme being extended.
Families with deep rooted, complex and often inter-connected problems will receive support to get their lives back on track under the scheme which is backed by up to £165 million of new funding, Communities Secretary Rt Hon Robert Jenrick MP announced.
Rt Hon Robert Jenrick MP said: "The Troubled Families programme will help more people in need get access to the early, practical and coordinated support to transform their lives for the better.
"This is the right thing to do for families and for society as a whole, and these reforms will reduce the demand and dependency on costly, reactive key public services.
"We want to build on the success of the programme in the coming year, delivering on our manifesto commitment to ensure we reach all those who could benefit from the programme – from the early years and throughout their lives," he added.
The current Troubled Families Programme was rolled out in England in April 2015 and replaced the first programme which had been in place since 2012. The programme was originally set to run for 5 years from 2015 to 2020 but was extended by a year in Spending Round 2019. The £165 million of funding has been confirmed for 2020 to 2021.
The scheme works with the whole family unit across local services and has a focus on early intervention. Rather than responding to each problem, or single family member separately, assigned Troubled Families key workers engage with the whole family and coordinate support from a range of services to identify and address family issues as early as possible rather than merely reacting to crises.
The programme has a proven track record of driving reforms across public services. The latest evaluation results show that, compared to families with similar characteristics who have not been on the programme, 19-24 months after starting to receive support:
- The proportion of children on the programme going into care has reduced by a third.
- The proportion of adults on the programme going to prison has reduced by a quarter and juvenile convictions reduced by 15%.
- More people on the programme are back in work, with 10% fewer people claiming Jobseekers Allowance.
Since 2015 when the current programme began, 297,733 families have made improvements with the problems that led to them joining the programme. In 26,848 of these families one or more adults has moved off benefits and into work.