The lives of 100 troubled families in Merseyside were turned around in the last nine months of 2012, according to the latest government statistics.
Local councils are currently working with 1,217 families in the county to tackle truancy, youth crime, anti-social behaviour and unemployment. A new drive – spearheaded by 150 specialist Jobcentre Plus advisers across England – is now being launched to get more troubled families into work.
Working with existing troubled families teams in councils, the employment advisers will give intensive support to whole families and, for the first time, track the progress made to get them into jobs.
The practical support will include CV writing, job interview skills and highlighting training opportunities and job vacancies in the area. They will also put families in contact with local employers, demonstrating that there are opportunities for everyone to get into work.
The announcement comes alongside figures from local authorities on progress within the first year of the Government’s Troubled Families programme which show that by the end of December last year:
• Councils had already identified more than half of the 120,000 families the Prime Minister pledged to turn around by 2015, with over 62,000 names and addresses in the system and 50 per cent more than they were asked to identify this year;
• More than one in six (23,000) of the 120,000 troubled families were already being worked with in 2012 with intensive interventions in place to tackle truancy, youth crime, anti-social behaviour and unemployment;
• And that ahead of expectations local authorities reported in January that they had successfully turned around the lives of 1,675 troubled families after just nine months of the three year programme, meaning that the children in those families are regularly in school and not committing crime, or adults are in work.
Local Government Secretary Eric Pickles said:
"These early results show that the Troubled Families programme is on track, changing families for the better and reducing their impact on the communities around them. We are ahead of schedule on the number of families that have been identified for intervention and I am delighted that 23,000 families are already being worked with, less than a year after the programme began.
"This programme is getting to grips with some of the hardest to help families in the country and in doing so will help bring down the costs they incur to the taxpayer and the damage they do to communities. But by including a real push towards employment for troubled families we will also help give a sense of purpose and aspiration to people who for too long have been allowed to fail by the state."
Secretary of State for Work and Pensions Iain Duncan Smith said:
"There are thousands of individuals and families in the UK living troubled lives blighted by crime, worklessness, and truancy. Worklessness can be a particular issue for some of these families and helping them get and keep a job can be vital in turning their lives around, bringing improved structure and stability with increased aspirations and confidence.
“Work can also enable parents to act as role models for their children, as children growing up in workless households are more likely to experience worklessness themselves. Jobcentre Plus advisers will now be working with families to offer more targeted support to those who have been failed by the system and where no-one is working or there is a history of worklessness across generations.”