The Troubled Families initiative which is piloting the Community Budget approach is on track, with councils committed to start working with more than a third of families in the first year of a three-year programme.
All 152 larger councils have joined the programme and have started to identify the families they are going to support. Staff have appointed and services expanded in order to get children back into school, reduce youth crime and anti-social behaviour and put adults on a path back to work.
Some 40,000 claims have been made for up-front ‘attachment fees’ worth over £100million as part of the payment-by-results programme. This means that – working with local authorities and other agencies – the Department for Communities and Local Government remains on schedule to meet the Prime Minister’s pledge to turn around the lives of 120,000 troubled families by 2015.
The Local Government Secretary said: “I’m delighted that this programme is progressing so quickly as it is crucial to turning around the lives of families that have been untouched by the State for a generation or more and turning around communities that are blighted by the problems these families cause.
“Up-front ‘attachment fees’ allow local services to be expanded and transformed in order to provide the joined-up and challenging approach we know is needed with these families, so it is good news that the Government has already paid out over £100million to allow this work to begin.
The payment-by-results programm provides that full payment will not be made until the goals of reducing truancy, youth crime, anti-social behaviour and unemployment have been achieved, There is also a requirement that the costs of these families to the taxpayer should be reduced.
Under the deal with local authorities, Government will pay councils up to £4,000 per eligible family if they reduce truancy, youth crime and anti-social behaviour or put parents back into work. The Government’s £448million three-year Community Budget is drawn from across seven departments in a bid to join up local services dealing with these families on the frontline.