Work with problem families to continue

Blackpool Council is working with troubled families
Blackpool Council is working with troubled families
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Blackpool has been chosen to be part of the next phase of the Government’s Troubled Families programme.

In the past 18 months almost 300 families have been helped in the resort.

Encouraging parents back into work or training, and ensuring children are attending school, are among the successful initiatives.

The initiative was launched following the riots in 2011 to deal with families who were blamed for costing the public purse hundreds of millions of pounds.

So far, Blackpool Council has worked with 296 families and received £212,000 in
 payment by results basis.

Now Blackpool and 50 other areas have been picked to received extra funding in the scond phase of the programme.

It is expected around another 250 families will be helped thanks to the continuation of the programme.

Coun Ivan Taylor, Blackpool Council’s cabinet member for children’s services, said: “We have successfully turned around the lives of hundreds of families in Blackpool and this announcement will allow us to expand that work to even more people.

“The scheme involves working very closely with each member of a family that might have social problems such as unemployment or anti-social behaviour and work to improve their livelihoods.

“That can involve getting them back into work or education, as well as making sure children are regularly getting to school.

“Getting a family back on the right path can have a massive impact on the children, helping them to do well at school in the future and allowing them to achieve their potential in life.

“It also helps towards creating safer communities which is of a benefit to everybody.

“I’m delighted the Government has recognised our good work over the last 18 months and we will continue to expand that to help even more local families to turn their lives around.”

One family which has received help came to the attention of the council due to persistent anti-social behaviour issues and truancy.

The mother had recently lost her job and was struggling to find another one due to poor literacy skills.

After intervention by the team, she was able to boost her qualifications and is now working in a supermarket.

Her teenage daughter was given support to get her back attending school and as a result was submitted for most of her GCSE exams, before moving into further education upon leaving school.

Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government Eric Pickles said: “The Troubled Families programme has turned around the lives of 300 families in Blackpool since 2012. Because the council has made so much progress in the past two years, they are now able to work with even more families.”

As well as expanding from working with school-age children to those under five, the wider programme will also have a particular focus on improving poor health, which new data published today highlights is a particular problem in troubled families.

A total of 71 per cent have a physical health problem and 46 per cent a mental health concern.