Councils unite to address troubled families

By Cassie Chambers

Ministers are on track to meet their goal of reducing the number of troubled families, according to the Department for Communities and Local Government.

The department said it had received an "overwhelmingly positive response" as every eligible council had opted into its programme addressing the issue.

The troubled families programme, launched in March of this year, offers upper-tier local authorities incentives to reduce anti-social behaviour among young people, get children back into school and help adults find employment.

Local authorities are given some money from the government up front. The rest is paid to local authorities once results have been delivered.

Communities secretary Eric Pickles welcomed the news of the programme's uptake.

"The fast and unanimous level of take-up shows that the government has got the confidence of local councils that together we can tackle a problem that councils have long grappled with," he said.

"We cannot go on spending so much taxpayers' money on such a small amount of families without turning their lives around once and for all."

Mr Pickles continued: "This programme is a unique opportunity to do so and I am delighted that every council has opted in."

Every troubled family costs the UK an estimated £75,000 per year, adding up to over £9 billion annually in public spending.

The troubled families programme represents a £448 million plan to connect these families to the resources they need, with the goal of turning around 120,000 families over the next three years.