MORE than 70 troubled families across West Cheshire have been helped to turn their lives around as part of a groundbreaking government scheme.
Prime Minister David Cameron and communities secretary Eric Pickles have praised Conservative-run Cheshire West and Chester Council (CWaC) for the success of the troubled families programme.
CWaC said the programme means children are now back in school where they were previously playing truant or excluded, levels of youth crime and anti-social behaviour are down, adults are getting off benefits and into work and the costs to public services and burden on the taxpayer are being reduced.
Another 296 of the hardest-to-help families who could benefit from the programme have now been identified.
David Cameron praised the council for implementing the payment-by-results programme and said the results showed that no family was beyond help.
He said: “I am determined that we help people to get on in life including those families where things may be going wrong. For some that starts with attending school every day, staying out of trouble with the police and taking practical steps towards work, just as other families do.
“Every month, more and more of the most troubled families are getting help to deal with these issues head-on in West Cheshire.
“That is good for those families, your community and our country as a whole.”
Currently the troubled families team is working with 216 families and the scheme remains on track to meet the council’s target of turning around 525 families by 2015.
Council leader Mike Jones said: “It is great to see figures that evidence the work and achievements of CWaC and our partners who embarked on a journey to transform services and support for families.
“Our priorities remain focused on supporting those families most in need, to get on in their lives and make positive improvements that will benefit them and their families, to build a resilience and confidence in their own ability to develop solutions to any problems that may arise in the future.”
Mr Pickles said: “These figures show that our no-nonsense and common sense approach is changing these families for the better and benefiting the whole community in Cheshire West and Chester.
“Considering the often longstanding and deep-seated nature of these families’ problems, it is a huge achievement to have turned so many around in such a short space of time.
“Instead of several costly services working with the same family but failing to solve the underlying problems, this approach is both more effective for the family and cheaper too.”
Louise Casey, who heads the troubled families programme, said: “CWaC deserves credit for taking up the challenge of the troubled families programme and achieving results so quickly.
“By dealing with all the family members and all of their problems in a tough and intensive way we are finally getting to grips with problems which may have persisted for generations, giving hope to people who have often been failed in the past and relief for the communities that suffered the effects of their behaviour.”