The government has announced £165 million in new funding for the Troubled Families Programme.
Launched in 2011 by former Prime Minister David Cameron, the Programme was created to assist families riven by substance abuse, anti-social behaviour, unemployment, domestic violence, truancy and similar social problems. Each family is assigned a dedicated social worker to coordinate services and address issues, with a firm focus on early intervention. Originally due to run until 2015 the Programme was subsequently extended a further five years, despite claims by an economic research institute and Channel 4 that Troubled Families had made no real impact.
The recently elected Conservative government seems keen to continue, with the newly announced funding set keep the programme active into next year at least. Communities Secretary Robert Jenrick explained:
“The Troubled Families programme will help more people in need get access to the early, practical and coordinated support to transform their lives for the better. This is the right thing to do for families and for society as a whole, and these reforms will reduce the demand and dependency on costly, reactive key public services. We want to build on the success of the programme in the coming year, delivering on our manifesto commitment to ensure we reach all those who could benefit from the programme – from the early years and throughout their lives.”
The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government cited statistics suggesting there have been significant reductions amongst participating families in the number of children going into care and the number of adults going to prison. Two years in, there had also been a 10 per cent reduction in unemployment and 15 per cent reduction in juvenile offending.
Image by Matt Biddulph via Flickr (Creative Commons)