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North Yorkshire steps ahead to turn around families

New figures published show that North Yorkshire County Council is among the top quartile of authorities nationally for success in its work under the Government’s Troubled Families programme.

National data, based on the percentage of families turned around as at the end of March 2014, also shows that North Yorkshire ranks third highest when compared with its statistical neighbours.

Troubled families are defined as those who:

  • Involved in youth crime or anti-social behaviour
  • Have children who are regularly truanting
  • Have an adult on out-of-work benefits
  • Cost the public sector large sums in responding to their problems – an estimated average of £75,000 per year

Figures from the Department for Communities and Local Government show that 657 families have so far been worked with and 355 turned around in North Yorkshire through the national programme, known locally as Developing Stronger Families: with children back in school; levels of youth crime and anti-social behaviour significantly reduced; and adults from some of the hardest-to-help households in the area now in work or on a path back to employment.

As of the end of this month the authority will have so far turned around nearly 54 per cent of families identified and the scheme remains on track to meet the local authority’s target of turning around 845 families in North Yorkshire by 2015.

County Councillor Tony Hall, North Yorkshire’s Executive Member for Children’s Services said: We know that the highly targeted approach being used as part of the Developing Stronger Families programme, with one family, one plan and one worker, is proving highly successful.

This success is a tribute to the dedication of our front-line workers and the quality of our staff in continuing to challenge and support families.This is not a nine-to-five job for our intervention workers, because families need support at weekends and evenings, the times when issues come to a head. No two days are the same in the mission to support families to do things for themselves, to bring about positive change and to maintain that change.

We are very proud of achievements so far. This model will form, long term, the basis of an early intervention strategy for transforming the day to day living of our most complex and challenging households across the county.

The Prime Minister, David Cameron, today welcomed the news that the government’s Troubled Families programme (locally known as Developing Stronger Families) has now turned around the lives of almost 40,000 hard to help families nationally, getting children off the streets and into school and helping people to get back to work:

David Cameron said: Getting some of our country’s most troubled families’ lives back on track is a key part of our long-term plan – it saves the taxpayer money, gives people the chance to get on in life and secures a better future for these families, their communities and for our country.


Head of the Troubled Families programme Louise Casey CB added: This programme works because it is about dealing with all members of the family and all of its problems, being tough but supportive and providing intensive, practical help. Councils have changed the way they work with troubled families to make sure that 1 team or worker is providing that support, not a dozen different public services. In doing so they are now seeing results which mean that more families will be able to be helped in the future.”

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