Latest Public Sector News

23.01.13

Troubled families results published

A single ‘troubled family’ in London cost £345,718 over a year in police call-outs, ambulance alerts and social services interventions, new figures show.

Communities’ secretary Eric Pickles has published a report, The cost of troubled families, which details how councils are saving money by intervening more effectively with problem households.

Prime Minister David Cameron has pledged £448m to councils over three years to help turn these families’ lives round – finding work, attending school and improving behaviour.

‘Troubled families’ currently cost the Government around £9bn a year, of which around £8bn is spent purely on reacting to problems in crime, anti-social behaviour, school disruption and health issues.

Councils will be offered £4,000 per family they successfully help, on a Payment by Results scheme. Refusing help could result in families facing eviction or a removal of their benefits.

Pickles highlighted that some councils were leading the way with their work in this area: Greater Manchester councils are making overall savings of £224m from spending £138, more effectively on their troubled families.

Speaking at a LGA conference on troubled families, Eric Pickles said: “The prize here is potentially huge, both in terms of reducing the financial cost on the public purse and the human costs on families and communities. The savings we can make for the taxpayer would far outweigh the extra money we are putting in.

“Momentum is building behind this work and we will do much more in 2013. We will start showing the communities around these families that things are changing for the better, with kids back in school, crime coming down and parents sorting out their problems and getting back towards work. And we will do all this in bigger numbers than ever before.”

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