Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government
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Troubled Families programme

Written ministerial statement on the Troubled Families programme by Eric Pickles. Originally given at Parliament.

I am pleased to update honourable members on the progress of the Troubled Families programme. The latest information shows that this groundbreaking programme has successfully turned around the lives of nearly 14,000 of England’s toughest families in just 15 months.

This government has set out an ambitious goal of turning around the lives of 120,000 troubled families in England by the end of this Parliament:

  • getting children back into school
  • cutting youth crime and anti-social behaviour across the whole family
  • getting adults into work
  • reducing the estimated £9 billion per year that these families cost the taxpayer

Full details of the government’s payment by results framework for troubled families can be found on my department’s website.

Up to the end of July 2013, upper-tier local authorities have reported that they have turned around nearly 14,000 troubled families. The figure represents a seven-fold increase from January which means children are back in school for at least 3 terms where they were previously playing truant or excluded; high levels of youth crime and anti-social behaviour are down over at least 6 months; and adults are getting off benefits and into work for at least 3 months.

The tough and sustained outcomes which this programme demands mean that it can take in excess of a year to achieve these results and claim success.

Considering the often longstanding and deep-seated nature of these families’ problems and the inherent time lags in these results, the progress achieved in such a short space of time is a huge achievement and a testament to the hard work of colleagues in local government and the workers who directly helped the families.

In June 2012, I announced that all 152 upper tier local authorities had signed up to deliver the Troubled Families programme and, for most, this started with the substantial task of identifying the families most in need of intervention. As of the end of June 2013, they had identified over 80,000 troubled families who will be targeted for intervention by the programme. Of these families, nearly 50,000 families are already being worked with - up from 35,000 in March. This represents a significant increase in the pace and scale of work with troubled families across England.

The figures from local authorities on progress within the first 15 months of the government’s Troubled Families programme have been collated from the latest quarterly returns submitted to DCLG’s Troubled Families Team from all 152 upper tier local authorities in England. I am grateful to local authorities for providing us with these figures. Full details of these returns can be found on my department’s website.

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