Hundreds of "troubled families" in Wolverhampton are being given the help and support they need to succeed through the city council's Families in Focus programme.

The authority has identified more than 800 families requiring the help and support through Families in Focus - part of the Government's 3 year Troubled Families programme - and figures released on Thursday (30 October) show 617 families have been successfully "turned around", with children back in school, levels of youth crime and anti social behaviour cut and adults from troubled households on the path back to employment.

In total, more than 90 families have achieved continuous employment as a result of the help they have received, with many more on track to secure work in the near future.

Troubled families are defined as those who are involved in youth crime or anti social behaviour, have children who are regularly truanting and have an adult on out of work benefits.

More than 20 agencies, including the city council, housing provider, JobCentre Plus, the police, health services and voluntary and community sector organisations, are jointly working with these families, providing tough but supportive and practical help.

Councillor Val Gibson, Wolverhampton City Council's Cabinet Member for Children and Families, said: "I'm tremendously impressed by the hard work that agencies across Wolverhampton are doing with some of our most under pressure families, and with the willingness of family members to address their problems and give themselves the chance to get on in life.

"There are myriad reasons why families need the support of the Families in Focus programme. In some instances, family members may be struggling with drink or drug abuse, they may have debt problems, or parents may not be able to control their children or ensure they attend school.

"We are also helping families and children subject to or witnesses of domestic violence and parents who, for whatever reason, have poor job prospects.

"We're seeing some really impressive results, with children going back to school, anti social behaviour falling and parents getting back to work - indeed in 1 family, no less than 4 adults found work or training as a result of the support they have received through the programme.

"We are on track to identify and support more than 800 families by the end of the Government's 3 year programme, but it won't end there. We've put a framework in place which has embedded this new way of working into our processes and this means we will be well placed to continue this work in Wolverhampton for many years to come."

The Government says that troubled families cost the public sector large sums in responding to their problems, an estimated average of £75,000 per year.

  • released: Monday 3 November, 2014