Doncaster council is missing family targets

Doncaster's  Civic Offices.

Doncaster's Civic Offices.

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A programme to cut youth crime and anti-social behaviour in Doncaster is achieving less than 10 per cent of its target.

When the Government backed Stronger Families scheme was launched in the borough in April last year it was hoped that the programme would help to support 3,000 families between now and 2020.

But in a report that went before the local authority’s Overview and Scrutiny panel meeting on Thursday, it was revealed that out of an annual target of 447, the council has only supported 34 families so far.

Speaking at the meeting, Head of Stronger Families, Matt Cridge acknowledged that performance against the targets set was not where it should be.

He said: “The figures do look bad, but we along with our partners are achieving some real results with families in Doncaster.

“We are not unlike many authorities who are also failing to meet their targets, and have explained that we don’t believe we can achieve the targets set for us.”

As part of the scheme, which seeks to prevent youth crime and anti-social behaviour by working with the child’s family to solve underlying problems such as health issues, unemployment and debt, the council receives ‘Payment By Results’.

Under the scheme it is eligible to receive funding payments of up to £4,000 each family supported.

In order to claim the money from the Government each case must meet certain targets of progress.

Examples of the targets include ensuring that the children belonging to the families being supported achieve 90 per cent attendance at school or that one adult member of the family has moved from receiving out-of-work benefits and into continuous employment.

Documents that went before the council at the meeting stated that if the council was to meet the full target of 3,000 eligible claims for families between now and 2020 it could be worth £6million to the council in funding.

Mr Critch added that while the Stronger Families team was struggling to meet Government targets, it had helped hundreds of families across the borough since its inception.

Figures provided by him showed that the programme had seen the following results :

n 230 families supported had not been involved with anti-social behaviour for six months.

n 93 families have increased their children’s attendance at school to 90 per cent or more.

n 58 families are no longer experiencing domestic abuse as a result of the programme.

n 29 adults belonging to families supported by the programme had gone into full-time, continuous employment.

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