£13m to tackle problem families in South Yorkshire

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ALMOST 4,000 troubled families around South Yorkshire are to be targeted after councils were pledged £13 million of Government funding.

The cash is on offer as a reward for helping the most problematic families in the area.

To earn the money, councils must help the families reduce:

■ Anti-social behaviour;

■ Poor school attendance;

■ Youth offending;

■ Worklessness.

Sheffield, Barnsley, Doncaster and Rotherham are among local authorities across the country to have been offered a share of the £448m scheme over the next three years.

Money is also being allocated to Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire councils to cover families in areas, including Chesterfield and Worksop.

The Troubled Families initiative money is in addition to existing funding from education, employment, probation and social services budgets.

All councils eligible for the cash have accepted.

Communities Secretary Eric Pickles said: “We have an opportunity to deliver real and lasting change for these families and the communities around them.

“Everyone will benefit from getting kids into school, parents off benefits and into work and cutting youth crime and anti-social behaviour.”

The Government estimates troubled families across the country cost £9 billion each year, £75,000 per family.

Across the country, 120,000 families are to be targeted – including 1,680 in Sheffield, 870 in Doncaster, 730 in Rotherham and 645 in Barnsley.

Funding will break down to up to £10,000 per family.

Sheffield Children and Young People’s 0-19 Partnership Board, which represents officials, education and social services professionals dealing with troubled families, said: “We aim to use the money to purchase additional resources.

“Realistically, we don’t expect we will have no families or households in need of additional support in three years when the funding ends.”

The board is seeking further details from the Government of the payment-by-results system.