Communities Secretary Eric Pickles has praised the work of Herefordshire Council’s support for families programme at its half way stage.
New figures from the Department for Communities and Local Government showed that 18 months in to the three-year programme 278 families are being worked with in Herefordshire and over 101 have turned their lives around: with children back in school levels of youth crime and anti-social behaviour significantly reduced; and adults from some of the households now in work or on a path back to employment.
Jo Davidson, director for children’s wellbeing at Herefordshire Council said: “The programme focuses on individuals and families in difficulty. The multi-agency approach means that all participating agencies understand the support the family needs, not just what their individual service can do or what their particular role is.
“We have already managed to help change the lives of 101 families in Herefordshire and identified a further 209 families to help over the next year. We are proud to be amongst the highest claimants of reward funding in the country, a clear sign that our multi-agency approach, which has developed over a number of years and centres on the needs of children, is paying dividends.”
One of the Herefordshire parents involved in Herefordshire’s support programme* said: “My house has changed dramatically for the better and it’s much calmer, more routine, better behaviour from all my children. The way I deal with and approach things has been the biggest change - I’m not as irate and anxious as I was. I talk to the children rather than shouting, and listen to them a lot more.”
Secretary of State for Local Government Eric Pickles said:
“I am delighted that across the country our programme is already helping half of our target of 120,000 troubled families at its midway stage and Herefordshire Council has turned around 101. These are families that have often had problems and created serious issues in their communities for generations. And these results show that these problems can be dealt with through a no nonsense and common sense approach, bringing down costs to the taxpayer at the same time.”
Head of the national Troubled Families programme Louise Casey CB said:
“This programme is getting to grips with families who for too long have been have been allowed to be caught up in a cycle of despair. These results show that a tough, intensive but supportive approach has a big impact; giving hope and opportunity to the families and respite to the communities around them.”