'Troubled' families to get more help

David Cameron

David Cameron

First published in News Daily Echo: Photograph of the Author by , Parliamentary Correspondent

HUNDREDS more 'troubled families' will be helped in Southampton after the Prime Minister hailed an existing scheme as a “success”.

The city council is among 51 local authorities picked to spearhead an expansion of the scheme that aims to turn around the lives of problem households.

At present, the programme supports the poor and low-skilled, in particular people in poor quality housing, with long-standing disabilities or mental health problems.

Now the project will be rolled out and will see caseworkers also working intensively where there are problems of domestic violence, debt and children at risk of being taken into care.

Southampton will help lead the expansion after reporting that 455 of 685 troubled families in the city had already had their lives “turned around”.

David Cameron said the scheme was “tackling the underlying problems” - instead of simply sending in police, or social workers.

And he said: “Some people said it wouldn't work, that we couldn't create an intervention that would help turn these families around - but the results are clear.

“More children going to school, fewer crimes, less anti-social behaviour and more than 53,000 of these troubled families turned around. There is no doubt that this programme is a success.”

However, according to the latest figures, just 28 of those 455 “turned around” families in Southampton have someone in a steady job.

The National Audit Office (NAO) warned the scheme is “underperforming”, pointing to “poor co-ordination” after it was launched quickly, following the 2011 riots.

And it pointed out that a family can be counted as being “turned around” if it shows improvement in just one of seven areas.

Under the scheme, councils are paid up to £4,000 for each family they help. At the start, 80 per cent - or £3,200 - was paid upfront, reducing to 40 per cent in 2014-15.

But the Government said 300 specialist 'employment advisers' will now work with young people at risk of joblessness, in the 51 areas.

The expansion was announced in a “families” speech, in which Mr Cameron also unveiled a trial of age ratings for online music videos, to protect children.

But Labour ridiculed the idea of a “family-friendly Government”, pointing to more households relying on food banks and children's Sure Start centres closing because of cuts.

Tristram Hunt, Labour's education spokesman, said: “David Cameron's fictitious family friendly agenda won't fool anyone.

“It's a bit rich for the Prime Minister to offer warm words when hardworking families are suffering. Working parents are worse off and thousands have been hit by the bedroom tax. The Government has let families down by standing up for just a privileged few.”

Comments (11)

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6:21am Tue 19 Aug 14

skeptik says...

The same old pre election Blarney from all of the parties - good times ahead. They are more to be pitied than scorned for trying the old flannel again.
The same old pre election Blarney from all of the parties - good times ahead. They are more to be pitied than scorned for trying the old flannel again. skeptik
  • Score: 4

8:44am Tue 19 Aug 14

MisterGrimsdale says...

I'm troubled by the Netley Steam Fair. Something must be done.
I'm troubled by the Netley Steam Fair. Something must be done. MisterGrimsdale
  • Score: 9

10:12am Tue 19 Aug 14

Taskforce 141 says...

Well I dont believe it!!!!

This is utter B.S! talk about massaging the figures.

Please tell me Mr Cameron how on earth are you supposed to turn around families in 100 day time frame (which is the new guidance to workers) especially when case loads are increasing beyond the recommended amount?

This scheme is good in theory but in practice a complete can of worms, how do I know all this? I worked for the Troubled Families agenda (Families Matter in Southampton)!!!

Lies, lies and more spin.
Well I dont believe it!!!! This is utter B.S! talk about massaging the figures. Please tell me Mr Cameron how on earth are you supposed to turn around families in 100 day time frame (which is the new guidance to workers) especially when case loads are increasing beyond the recommended amount? This scheme is good in theory but in practice a complete can of worms, how do I know all this? I worked for the Troubled Families agenda (Families Matter in Southampton)!!! Lies, lies and more spin. Taskforce 141
  • Score: 9

10:44am Tue 19 Aug 14

forest hump says...

More benefits for the lazy and great unwashed. Stop child allowance after one kid. Hey presto!
More benefits for the lazy and great unwashed. Stop child allowance after one kid. Hey presto! forest hump
  • Score: 0

11:04am Tue 19 Aug 14

good-gosh says...

Good old Dave – he'll get it sorted - and in spite of Labour rubbishing anything constructive as usual. Labour aren't socialists – they are antisocialists.
Good old Dave – he'll get it sorted - and in spite of Labour rubbishing anything constructive as usual. Labour aren't socialists – they are antisocialists. good-gosh
  • Score: 0

11:59am Tue 19 Aug 14

Lone Ranger. says...

Goodness me ..... all of a sudden he is concerned about families.
.
Didnt he use similar "sound-bites" befor the last election ?
Goodness me ..... all of a sudden he is concerned about families. . Didnt he use similar "sound-bites" befor the last election ? Lone Ranger.
  • Score: 5

12:01pm Tue 19 Aug 14

sparkster says...

More pre election clap trap, Cameroon was going to do this and going to do that, in my view he's done nothing at all, what it must be like not to live in the real world, talk about out of touch with reality
More pre election clap trap, Cameroon was going to do this and going to do that, in my view he's done nothing at all, what it must be like not to live in the real world, talk about out of touch with reality sparkster
  • Score: 2

12:36pm Tue 19 Aug 14

sburman says...

Yet again we are all supposed to give help to `families` who for whatever reason cannot cope on their own.
Yet again we are supposed to support families that have no ability or intention of being responsible for their own affairs.
Of course there are people who get into dire straights through no fault of their own but there are also many, many families who think they have absolutely no responsibility for their own life let alone the lives of their family and the fact that the state looks after them is just part of their rights.
I am not talking middle or top earners here, but there are many low income families who do take responsibility for their own lives, who do pay their bills on time, who do manage to put food on their tables even if all this means a lack of the latest gizmos, lack of holidays, lack of designer clothes. They also take responsibility for their own kids and do not think it the sole job of the state or school to teach their offspring how to be good people.

and I know these thing because when my kids where young I & my wife were two of these people and went without so our kids could grow and thought it was demeaning to seek help from the state.
While the state looks after the `It’s my right` brigade the real responsible person gets to fend for themselves.
Yet again we are all supposed to give help to `families` who for whatever reason cannot cope on their own. Yet again we are supposed to support families that have no ability or intention of being responsible for their own affairs. Of course there are people who get into dire straights through no fault of their own but there are also many, many families who think they have absolutely no responsibility for their own life let alone the lives of their family and the fact that the state looks after them is just part of their rights. I am not talking middle or top earners here, but there are many low income families who do take responsibility for their own lives, who do pay their bills on time, who do manage to put food on their tables even if all this means a lack of the latest gizmos, lack of holidays, lack of designer clothes. They also take responsibility for their own kids and do not think it the sole job of the state or school to teach their offspring how to be good people. and I know these thing because when my kids where young I & my wife were two of these people and went without so our kids could grow and thought it was demeaning to seek help from the state. While the state looks after the `It’s my right` brigade the real responsible person gets to fend for themselves. sburman
  • Score: 11

12:39pm Tue 19 Aug 14

skeptik says...

good-gosh says...

Good old Dave – he'll get it sorted - and in spite of Labour rubbishing anything constructive as usual. Labour aren't socialists – they are antisocialists. It is not labour he has to worry about it is the masses of folk like me who left the party because he was untruthful and not very bright, Dipstick Dave is a one off - and I do not mean unique I mean he is going to be a one off.
good-gosh says... Good old Dave – he'll get it sorted - and in spite of Labour rubbishing anything constructive as usual. Labour aren't socialists – they are antisocialists. It is not labour he has to worry about it is the masses of folk like me who left the party because he was untruthful and not very bright, Dipstick Dave is a one off - and I do not mean unique I mean he is going to be a one off. skeptik
  • Score: 1

1:54pm Tue 19 Aug 14

good-gosh says...

It's no good going through life expecting everyone to do everything they say they will – I give 10/10 if people manage to do just half what they say.
It's no good going through life expecting everyone to do everything they say they will – I give 10/10 if people manage to do just half what they say. good-gosh
  • Score: -1

5:20pm Tue 19 Aug 14

southamptonadi says...

Must be hard on benefits.

I say cut them further. If your not working you shouldn't be allowed to transfer to a bigger house, might stop them breeding just to get more money and a bigger house.

It needs overhauling stop this rubbish of pandering the lazy

If you want a decent house in a decent area and nice family holidays etc, then you should have to earn it. If you aspire to be something then work for it, not just sit back and let the government give it too you.

If he really wants to be family friendly, support families don't discriminate just because the parents work.
Must be hard on benefits. I say cut them further. If your not working you shouldn't be allowed to transfer to a bigger house, might stop them breeding just to get more money and a bigger house. It needs overhauling stop this rubbish of pandering the lazy If you want a decent house in a decent area and nice family holidays etc, then you should have to earn it. If you aspire to be something then work for it, not just sit back and let the government give it too you. If he really wants to be family friendly, support families don't discriminate just because the parents work. southamptonadi
  • Score: 1

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