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Cameron announces key worker role in £448m troubled families initiative

Prime Minister David Cameron has announced that "troubled families" will be given key workers to co-ordinate services in an attempt to turn their lives around as part of a £448m programme.

Announcing the programme, Cameron said estimates have been published of how many troubled families are in each local authority, citing the example of Birmingham, which is thought to have 4,500 "problem families".

Councils will now be expected to "move from broad estimates to names and addresses" and will be expected to identify the families in their area and which services they access by February next year.

The government has allocated £448m to help turn the lives of 120,000 families around by the end of this parliament.

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Councils will be given 40 per cent of the money to deal with the families on a payment-by-results basis against measures such as whether children are attending school, families are in work and antisocial behaviour has been reduced. Local authorities will be expected to fund the remaining 60 per cent.

 

Cameron said: "When some people live apart from the rest of society, that can have a corrosive effect. We have known for years that a relatively small number of families are the source of a large proportion of problems in our society. Last year we spent £9bn on 120,000 of these families."

He said that a family worker will be allocated to each family "working out what the family needs and seeing the family as a whole".

Sir Merrick Cockell, chairman of the Local Government Association, said: "Improving lives for families and residents is at the heart of what councils do and closer working between public sector agencies like job centres, schools, police, probation officers and social services locally will get better results and cost less.

"It is great news that the money announced today will go to local areas to build on much excellent work already underway. We must ensure this support gets to where it is most needed and is not tied up in endless bureaucracy and form filling."

Dame Clare Tickell, chief executive of Action for Children, said the investment provides an opportunity for better partnerships between local authorities and the voluntary sector.

"These families are often dealing with many problems throughout their lifetime, but with expert help and support, even the most difficult of lives can be turned around – keeping children safe at home, reducing antisocial behaviour and improving educational attendance," she said.

"The investment announced today provides an opportunity for local authorities to extend partnerships with the voluntary sector in order to help and support families in great need. We must ensure that this new money is used in the most effective way possible, keeping a focus on the things that we know do work and ensuring the most vulnerable children and families are supported throughout."

This article was taken from www.cypnow.co.ukhttp://www.cypnow.co.uk/cyp/news/1071463