Cash to help Sheffield families

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MORE than 1,000 ‘troubled families’ across Sheffield are being offered help by social workers thanks to funding from a 
£448 million Government scheme.

Sheffield Council is receiving £175,000 annually to set up the programme, which aims to help 800 families in the current financial year, plus a further 600 in 2013-14 and 280 in 2014-15.

A further payment of up to £4,000 per family is available from the Government based on results, which are measured in terms of children being at school, reduced crime and anti-social behaviour, and parents going back to work.

Funding from the Department for Communities is conditional on the council providing one-and-a-half times more money each year.

In a report to today’s council cabinet meeting, Sam Martin, from the authority’s children and young people’s services department, said: “The council has been invited to participate in the Government’s Troubled Families initiative.

“This offers significant new resources to support our existing plans to provide intervention to families with multiple and complex needs.

“By making use of the new resources, the council has the opportunity to further improve family support services so they are better co-ordinated, more efficient and deliver impact.”

The council said most of the families it intends to target are already in touch with support services.

As well as the council, other public bodies are being involved including the NHS and voluntary groups.

The council said spending the money on intervention work will ‘not only improve the quality of lives of the families themselves, but improve the lives of the communities where they live’ and reduce costs of social care, criminal justice and benefits in the long term.