West Sussex County Council praised for work turning around families

Truancy is one of the problems being tackled in the Troubed Families initiative;  Picture posed by model PICTURE PAUL JACOBS : 073678-15
Truancy is one of the problems being tackled in the Troubed Families initiative; Picture posed by model PICTURE PAUL JACOBS : 073678-15

The Communities Secretary Eric Pickles has praised the work of local authorities like West Sussex County Council, who are on target turn around thousands of ‘troubled’ families.

West Sussex County Council has a target of about 1,200 interventions to help get children back in school, cut youth crime and anti-social behaviour and putting parents on a path back to work by 2015 and they have already identified 880 families.

The Secretary of State for Local Government Mr Pickles said: “Troubled families are often living miserable lives and can also cause misery to the communities around them, draining around £9 billion per year from the public purse. This programme is not only transforming the lives of families we have too often not got to grips with in the past, but it will deliver considerable savings to the taxpayer by reducing their demand on services and helping them make a positive contribution to society instead.”

A council spokesman said: “The scheme is going well in West Sussex, and progress is in line with government expectations.

“We have about 480 families meeting at least three eligible criteria. There are another 400 families whom we may work with, where full analysis is not yet complete.

“To ensure the right families are accessing the programme we are putting into place a simple referral system within the Think Family Partnership network.

“This will enable the most needy families to be identified early and referred to one of the Key Workers who will work with them over a period of time to help improve life in the family.

“The Think Family Expansion Programme covers the whole of West Sussex and is being delivered by all local district and borough councils working together with local services.

“Our staff are of a very high calibre and we are optimistic about the future progress of the Think Family Programme, and committed to delivering good outcomes for families and their communities. We expect to be able to deliver the target of approximately 1,200 interventions over the life of the Programme.”