Department for Work and Pensions
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Jobcentre Plus Advisers for troubled families

A new drive to get troubled families into work is to be spearheaded by 150 specialist Jobcentre Plus advisers.

Working with existing troubled families teams in councils, the employment advisers will give intensive support to whole families and for the first time track the progress made to get them into jobs.

The practical support will include CV writing, job interview skills and highlight training opportunities and job vacancies in the area.  They will also put families in contact with local employers, demonstrating that there are opportunities for everyone to get into work. 

The announcement comes alongside figures from local authorities on progress within the first year of the Government’s Troubled Families programme which show that by the end of December last year:

  • Councils had already identified more than half of the 120,000 families the Prime Minister pledged to turn around by 2015, with over 62,000 names and addresses in the system and 50 per cent more than they were asked to identify this year;
  • More than one in six (23,000) of the 120,000 troubled families were already being worked with in 2012 with intensive interventions in place to tackle truancy, youth crime, anti-social behaviour and unemployment;
  • And that ahead of expectations local authorities reported in January that they had successfully turned around the lives of 1,675 troubled families after just nine months of the three year programme, meaning that the children in those families are regularly in school and not committing crime or adults are in work.

Local Government Secretary Eric Pickles said:

"These early results show that the Troubled Families programme is on track, changing families for the better and reducing their impact on the communities around them. We are ahead of schedule on the number of families that have been identified for intervention and I am delighted that 23,000 families are already being worked with, less than a year after the programme began.

"This programme is getting to grips with some of the hardest to help families in the country and in doing so will help bring down the costs they incur to the taxpayer and the damage they do to communities. But by including a real push towards employment for troubled families we will also help give a sense of purpose and aspiration to people who for too long have been allowed to fail by the state."

Secretary of State for Work and Pensions Iain Duncan Smith said:

"There are thousands of individuals and families in the UK living troubled lives blighted by crime, worklessness, and truancy. Worklessness can be a particular issue for some of these families and helping them get and keep a job can be vital in turning their lives around, bringing improved structure and stability with increased aspirations and confidence.

“Work can also enable parents to act as role models for their children, as children growing up in workless households are more likely to experience worklessness themselves. Jobcentre Plus advisers will now be working with families to offer more targeted support to those who have been failed by the system and where no-one is working or there is a history of worklessness across generations.”

Notes to editors

1. Troubled families are defined as those who:

  • are involved in youth crime or anti-social behaviour;
  • have children who are regularly truanting;
  • have an adult on out-of-work benefits;
  • cost the public sector large sums in responding to their problems, an estimated average of £75,000 per year.

The Government is committed to turning around the lives of 120,000 troubled families by 2015: getting children back into school; cutting youth crime and anti-social behaviour across the whole family; putting adults on a path back to work; and cutting the costs to the taxpayer of tackling their problems. Full details of the Government's payment by results framework for troubled families can be found here:

2. Under the joint DCLG-DWP agreement local authorities will be asked to share information with their local Jobcentre Plus about families who they have identified as part of the Troubled Families programme. Jobcentre Advisers will then know which benefit claimants are receiving support through the programme and adopt a coordinated local approach to dealing with the whole family. The 94 local authorities with the most troubled families will be offered up to six fully-funded Troubled Families Employment Advisors, seconded from their local Jobcentre Plus, according to the number of troubled families they have in their area. In total, these areas have committed to turn around over 80% of the 120,000 troubled families in England. The remaining 58 local authorities with fewer troubled families will be offered a single point of contact within Jobcentre Plus and given practical support to promote the employment agenda in their area.

3. The figures from local authorities on progress within the first year of the Government’s Troubled Families programme in regard to families 'identified' and families being 'worked with' have been collated from the latest quarterly returns  submitted to DCLG's Troubled Families Team from all 152 upper tier local authorities in England in December 2012. These do not constitute official statistics. The data in regard to families 'turned around' has been collated from data submitted by upper-tier local authorities in January in support of claims for result payments under the terms of the financial framework for the Troubled Families Programme. Full details of these returns can be found here:

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