ALMOST 700 families considered some of the most hardest to help in Worcestershire have had their lives turned around as part of a flagship government scheme.
In 2012 Worcestershire County Council identified 900 so-called troubled families which were costing taxpayers a significant amount of money due to the issues they face including involvement in youth crime or anti-social behaviour, truanting or exclusion from school and being out of work.
The Government’s aim was to pay councils up to £4,000 for every troubled family turned around with the aim of transforming the lives of 120,000 families by the end of the current Parliament.
A family is deemed to be turned around when all children have been back in school for a year, youth crime or anti-social behaviour has been significantly cut across the whole family and an adult has moved off benefits and into work for three months.
Figures released by the Department for Communities and Local Government show in Worcestershire at the end of last month 698 of the 900 families identified had been successfully turned around.
Across England the scheme has helped save the taxpayer £12,000 on average for every troubled family, which is twice the average cost of the programme at £5,493.
Coun Liz Eyre, responsible for children and families on the county council, said she was pleased with the progress they had made so far.
“We are now at the early stages of the second phase of the programme, which has additional criteria which will be even more helpful, this sees the County Council and partners building on this work with more families and continuing to deliver support under this programme for the next twelve months.”
Communities Secretary Eric Pickles added: “It has worked because it has been bold and unafraid of getting tough with those who need it most.
“It has also provided a long-term solution by tackling the root causes of the very complex problems these families face.”