One year in to the programme to turn around the lives of 120,000 problem families by 2015, only half of the families have been identified. Work has not yet started with a significant proportion of the identified families. Even allowing for the time it takes to start up operations it is unlikely that he 2015 target will be met.
The detailed figures publish by DCLG show that only one council, Manchester, is working with half the troubled families within its area. For other councils there is a large gap between identifying the families and starting work. One encouraging sign is that councils have reported that 1621 families have been turned around.
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. Providing a common pot budget allows all agencies concerned to collaborate so that a wide range of skills can be deployed to best advantage. By breaking down the organization silo walls and by bringing focused leadership dedicated to the issue of a problem family, duplication of effort and cracks between services. The £448 million three-year budget has been provided by taking money from across Whitehall to help councils get to grips with whole families and deal with their problems at root cause through proven techniques, rather than a multitude of agencies working with single people within a family.
The programme includes a payment by results scheme that will deliver up to £4,000 per family to councils which get children back into school, reduce youth crime and anti-social behaviour, put adults on a path back to work and bring down the £9 billion annual costs caused by dealing with them.