‘Council has helped hundreds of people’

Peter Box after announcing budget proposals' 'LOCATION:  Wakefield Town Hall
Peter Box after announcing budget proposals' 'LOCATION: Wakefield Town Hall

Almost 400 families have turned their lives around with help from a support scheme for people to avoid crime, find work and stay in education.

Wakefield Council said it helped hundreds of people by providing them with intensive support as part of the government’s Troubled Families initiative.

Figures released by the Department for Communities and Local Government show 85 per cent of 930 families classed as troubled in the district area turned their lives around.

Troubled families are defined as those who are on out-of-work benefits, involved in crime and anti-social behaviour, have kids absent from school and are costing the public sector an average of £75,000 a year.

Wakefield Council leader Peter Box said: “By supporting all the family members and their issues in an intensive way we are helping to improve the lives of these families and their local communities that may have suffered the effects of their behaviour.

“The work this scheme is doing is vital in supporting people to get back into employment, which is proven to reduce incidents of crime, helping them secure a better life for the whole family.”

The council said children were back in school instead of truanting or being excluded, youth crime and anti-social behaviour were down and adults were finding work as a result of the scheme.

Louise Casey, head of the troubled families programme, said: “This programme works because it is about dealing with all members of the family and all of its problems, being tough but supportive and providing intensive, practical help.

“Councils have changed the way they work with troubled families to make sure that one team or worker is providing that support, not a dozen different public services.

“In doing so they are now seeing results which mean that more families will be able to be helped in the future.”