Hundreds of Sheffield families’ lives ‘turned around’

Coun Jackie Drayton.
Coun Jackie Drayton.
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The lives of more than 600 ‘troubled families’ in Sheffield have been put back on track, according to government figures.

Councils across the country were praised for their work in the Troubled Families Programme – which aims to reduce the cost to the taxpayer of tackling their problems – by Communities Secretary Eric Pickles.

The success is measured by previously truant or excluded children being back in school for three consecutive terms, adults on benefits finding new work or high levels of youth crime or anti-social behaviour reducing.

In Doncaster, 382 families have been helped, in Rotherham the number was 307 and in Barnsley it was 292.

Mr Pickles said: “Nobody is saying troubled families will become model citizens overnight.

“However, turning them around starts with getting youngsters off the streets and into school, giving them a better chance in life, and helping adults into employment or better able to work.

“This is good for the taxpayer, good for the families themselves and good for the communities around them.”

In Sheffield, the number of families Sheffield Council worked with dropped from 1,520 in 2012 to 889 by May 2014.

Local authorities are paid up to £4,000 on a payment-by-results basis for turning around troubled families’ lives.

Coun Jacqui Drayton, cabinet member for children, young people and families, said the council had been working to join up services for families for seven years.

She said: “Our Building Successful Families programme gets involved with families at the earliest opportunity, engaging with them to build resilience and working with families to take control of their own lives.

“Our programme is a great example of partnership working at its best.

“We want families to know that we are here to work with them if, or when, they face difficulties.”