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Less than 15 per cent of Newham’s troubled families “transformed” through scheme

19:00 27 May 2014

Less than 15 per cent of Newham families deemed to need help have “turned around” their lives through a government programme, according to the latest figures.

The Troubled Families scheme, launched in 2011, aims to reduce the financial and social cost of families with serious issues – but just 141 of the 985 who were earmarked for support (14.3 pc) were deemed to have been “transformed” by the end of March.

None of the families had an adult move off benefits and into continuous employment and none had achieved the “progress to work outcome”.

Under the programme, one team works with the whole of a family on all of its problems in a tough, intensive and co-ordinated way, rather than different services reacting to individual problems.

Families targeted for the scheme include those who have children involved in youth crime or anti-social behaviour, have an adult on out-of-work benefits or cost the public sector large sums to respond to their problems.

A council spokeswoman said that 890 of the 985 families identified by the government are receiving support.

She said the government’s method of calculating the scheme’s success did not take into account the complex needs of many of the families involved.

“Many of the outcomes achieved, such as understanding the reasons for the problems within the family, improved behaviour and attainment at school, identifying and providing support around mental health issues and safeguarding children from abuse, are not measured as part of the government’s prescribed indicators,” she said. “However these outcomes are often needed before further support can be provided to the family.”

The spokeswoman added that the council’s most recent data suggests council has supported 246 families (25 pc) of those identifying as needing help.

In some areas of the country the scheme has turned around three quarters of its targeted families, while 25.1 pc were helped in Barking and Dagenham.

Nationwide, the Troubled Families scheme has now transformed 40,000 of the 120,000 targeted households nationwide, which led David Cameron to say would “secure a better future for the country”.

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