More than 1,200 ‘troubled families’ in South Yorkshire have had their lives ‘turned around’ by a programme aimed at getting truanting children back into school and young people into work, the Government claims.
They are said to be among 40,000 previously ‘hard to help’ families who have benefitted across the country from the national Troubled Families programme.
A progress update published by the Department for Communities and Local Government claims 39,480 families identified as being ‘troubled’ now have expelled or truanting children back in school, and previously unemployed adults now in work.
Youth-related crime and anti-social behaviour in the households has also been assessed as having improved.
With each ‘troubled family’ estimated to cost the authorities an average of £75,000 a year, the Government said the families could in total have cost the taxpayer in the region of £3 billion per year without intervention.
More than 111,000 families have been identified as in need of help by local councils, and so far 1,680 have been worked with specifically in Sheffield.
Of those, 650 are now classed as having been ‘turned around’. Rotherham has 275 ‘turned around’ families, Barnsley has 165, and Doncaster has 168.
Communities and Local Government Secretary Eric Pickles said: “The Troubled Families programme is good for the economy.
“It also improves life for communities which see less crime and anti-social behaviour and, most importantly, it supports families who get a chance to have a brighter future.
“Progress is being made in all corners of the country and I’m proud that this Government is taking action.”
Prime Minister David Cameron said: “Getting some of our country’s most troubled families’ lives back on track is a key part of our long-term plan - it saves the taxpayer money, gives people the chance to get on in life, and secures a better future for these families, their communities and for our country.”