Headlines: September 24th, 2012

Communities Secretary Eric Pickles has told troubled families co-ordinators that they are at the vanguard of a revolution in social policy.

The 152 co-ordinators, representing all major councils, met to consider how to deliver the Prime Minister’s pledge to turn around the lives of 120,000 troubled families in the next three years.

The conference was addressed by Louise Casey, head of the troubled families programme, who called on the co-ordinators to be assertive, authoritative and challenging, and argued that the fate of the programme was in their hands. She said: “As troubled families co-ordinators you will be at the forefront of this push to bring about real change in families’ lives – the ambition being that their children will be going to school, they won’t be committing crime and anti-social behaviour and they will no longer be costing vast amounts of money in everything from noise complaints to police call outs and care proceedings.”

The initiative is 40 per cent funded by the Department for Communities and 60 per cent by local councils. The co-ordinators oversee each council’ troubled families programme and targets, bringing local agencies such as health, housing, social services, education and the police together on the ground in order to tackle problems in a joined-up way.

The troubled families programme breaks the mould of traditional service delivery and opens the way for local development of radically different business models. It is the testbed for public service re-design based on a single pot of funding known as a Community Budget.