Government claims success in turning ‘troubled’ Sunderland families lives around

Communities Secretary Eric Pickles
Communities Secretary Eric Pickles
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MORE than 70 Sunderland households have been turned around as part of the Government’s ground-breaking Troubled Families programme.

Communities Secretary Eric Pickles said 4,881 troubled families had been identified by the end of June in the North East, 2,941 of whom are being worked with. By July, 937 of these families had had their lives turned around.

In Sunderland, 805 families were identified, 335 of which were being worked with. By the end of July, 72 had been turned around.

The figure represents a seven-fold increase from January.

Overall, councils have now identified 80,000 of the hardest-to-help families across the UK who will be targeted for intervention by the programme. Fifty thousand are already being worked with – up from 35,000 in March – and the scheme remains on track to meet the Prime Minister’s target of turning around 120,000 by 2015.

David Cameron praised the work of councils and the Department for Communities and Local Government and said the results showed that no family was beyond help.

The Prime Minister said: “Every month, more and more of the most troubled families are getting help to deal with these issues head-on. That is good for those families, their community and our country as a whole.”

Troubled families are defined as those who are involved in youth crime or antisocial behaviour, have children who are regularly truanting and have an adult on jobless benefits. Dealing with them costs the taxpayer an estimated average of £75,000 per year.