Steve Beasant

Liberal Democrat Prospective Parliamentary Candidate for Great Grimsby and Councillor for the East Marsh Learn more

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85,000 troubled families have had their lives turned around

by Steve Beasant on 22 December, 2014

The government’s Troubled Families programme has now helped turn around the lives of over 85,000 of the hardest to help households, Communities Secretary Eric Pickles announced today (22 December 2014).

With over 99% of families the Prime Minister pledged to support now being actively worked with, councils have had payments-by-results made for over two-thirds of their families.

This means that in 85,303 troubled families in England:

  • children have been back in school for a year when they were previously truant or excluded
  • youth crime and anti-social behaviour has been significantly cut across the whole family
  • or an adult in the home has moved off benefits and into work for 3 months or more

Bristol has turned around all 1,355 of its troubled families and Nottingham has done the same with 1,200 of its. Liverpool has helped 1,987 of the 2,105 it promised to get back on track.

The success of the programme means that a second wave of councils are now beginning work with more families ahead of schedule, and up to 40,000 additional families can begin to be helped by dedicated workers in this financial year in the highest-performing areas.

Communities Secretary Eric Pickles said:

“The Troubled Families programme demonstrates exactly what our long-term economic plan means for people.

“New opportunities for families to turn their lives around and make something of themselves; more economic security for local communities blighted by worklessness; and more economic stability for taxpayers, as we reduce the bills for social failure and get this country living within its means.

“It’s a triple-win; an amazing programme; and we’re going to extend its reach as far as possible.”

Chief Secretary to the Treasury Danny Alexander said:

“I helped establish the Troubled Families programme because improving the lives of society’s most vulnerable is one of the best ways to achieve our aim of a stronger economy and fairer society.

“I am proud that this programme is delivering real results, having helped turn around the lives of families by putting children back into school, cutting anti-social behaviour, and moving adults into work.

“It’s great news that more than 85,000 troubled families in England have seen real, tangible improvements in their lives thanks to this programme, and that 99% of eligible families are now being actively worked with.”

Head of the Troubled Families programme Louise Casey CB said:

“To have turned around the lives of over 85,000 troubled families – who have an average of 9 serious problems each – in 2 and a half years is a credit to the councils, the frontline staff and most of all to the families themselves.

“This programme works because it is joined up and it seeks to simplify things rather than make them more complicated. It focuses on whatever it takes to do what really matters: getting kids into school, the toughest families out of trouble with the police and adults into a position where they can find a job.”


Further information

The Troubled Families programme applies to England only. Local authorities are paid up to £4,000 on a payment-by-results basis for turning around troubled families. The government’s £448 million 3-year budget for 2012 to 2015 is drawn from 6 Whitehall departments who all stand to benefit from the public sector working more effectively with troubled families.

Troubled families are defined as those who:

  • are involved in youth crime or anti-social behaviour
  • have children who are excluded from school or regularly truanting
  • have an adult on out-of-work benefits
  • cost the public sector large sums in responding to their problems, an estimated average of £75,000 per year without intervention

Turning around troubled families means:

  • getting children back into school
  • cutting youth crime and anti-social behaviour across the whole family
  • getting adults into work
  • reducing the costs to the taxpayer of tackling their problems

See full details of the government’s payment by results framework for troubled families.

The figures from local authorities on progress within the government’s Troubled Families programme have been collated from the latest quarterly returns submitted to the Department for Communities and Local Government’s Troubled Families team from all 152 upper tier local authorities in England in August 2014. These do not constitute official statistics.

The Understanding Troubled Families report showed that families within the programme have an average of 9 different serious problems including health and mental health, domestic violence and debt.

At the Spending Review last year it was announced that the Troubled Families programme would be expanded to work with up to 400,000 more families. This publication explains how that figure was calculated.

The Budget in March 2014 announced that work with up to 40,000 of these families would begin this year in local authorities that are performing well in the current Troubled Families programme. The second wave of these early starters in the expanded programme will be:

  1. Barnsley
  2. Bedford
  3. Blackburn with Darwen
  4. Bracknell Forest
  5. Brighton and Hove
  6. Buckinghamshire
  7. Cambridgeshire
  8. Chester West and Chester
  9. Coventry
  10. Darlington
  11. Derby
  12. Dorset
  13. East Riding of Yorkshire
  14. East Sussex
  15. Essex
  16. Gloucestershire
  17. Halton
  18. Hampshire
  19. Herefordshire
  20. Kent
  21. Kingston upon Hull
  22. Kirklees
  23. Leicester City
  24. Lincolnshire
  25. London Borough of Bexley
  26. London Borough of Brent
  27. London Borough of Croydon
  28. London Borough of Enfield
  29. London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham
  30. London Borough of Hounslow
  31. London Borough of Islington
  32. London Borough of Lewisham
  33. London Borough of Waltham Forest
  34. Luton
  35. North East Lincolnshire
  36. North Lincolnshire
  37. North Tyneside
  38. Northamptonshire
  39. Northumberland
  40. Nottingham City
  41. Nottinghamshire
  42. Peterborough
  43. Portsmouth
  44. Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead
  45. Sandwell
  46. Sefton
  47. Shropshire
  48. Solihull
  49. Somerset
  50. Southend
  51. St Helens
  52. Staffordshire
  53. Stockton-on-Tees
  54. Suffolk
  55. Sunderland
  56. Swindon
  57. Telford and Wrekin
  58. Walsall
  59. Wiltshire
  60. Wirral
  61. Worcestershire
  62. York
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