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Lancashire's work with troubled families is praised
LANCASHIRE County Council is leading the way in putting a government programme to help troubled families into action, according to a government minister.
It is one of a handful of authorities nationwide to have identified all its target family groups, and third out of 152 in terms of ‘turning them round’.
The programme helps parents into work and tackles problems like anti-social behaviour with their children.
Local Government Secretary Eric Pickles has hailed the ‘Troubled Families’ scheme to help 120,000 families by 2015 as ahead of schedule at the end of its first year.
Councils have identified 62,000 families, 50 per cent more than expected. One in six, 23,000, are being helped by ‘intensive interventions’ to tackle truancy, youth crime, anti-social behaviour and unemployment. The lives of 1,675 have been ‘turned round’, with children regularly attending school rather than committing crime.
Lancashire county, which includes the boroughs of Ribble Valley, Burnley, Hyndburn, Pendle, Rossendale, and Chorley, has identified its full 2,630 target for families to help, and started working with 305.
It has met Whitehall criteria for ‘turning them round’ 125 cases – only exceeded by Leeds (135) and Newcastle-upon-Tyne (132).
Blackburn with Darwen has identified 85 out of its target 465 families. It is working with all 85 but has yet to submit results claiming success. Mr Pickles said: “I am delighted that Lancashire is making such good progress with its life-changing troubled families programme.
“To have identified 100 per cent of its families and already turned 125 of them around, just nine months into a three-year programme, is outstanding and I congratulate everyone involved.
“This will help reduce truancy, youth crime, anti-social behaviour and worklessness in the county as well as saving the taxpayer money and benefiting the whole community.”
Blackburn with Darwen neighbourhoods chief Yusuf Jan-Virmani said: “We are intensively working with 85 families and are currently in the process of identifying several more.
“In July we will be in a position to show that this work is making a real difference to their lives and has achieved outcomes.”