Long-term strategy for working with challenging families

13 July 2014

North Yorkshire County Council, which has been singled out for praise by Government this week for its success and the speed with which it is working with troubled families, believes it is on course to have turned around 70 per cent of families by the end of the summer.

The authority also intends to use the strategy long-term as a model for transforming the day-to-day living of the most challenging and complex households across the county.

North Yorkshire ranks among the top ten per cent of authorities in the country and 2nd among its statistical neighbours for the success of its Troubled Families programme, known locally as ‘Developing Stronger Families’. Currently 61 per cent of hardest to help families identified under the programme have been turned around and the county council believes this figure will have risen to 70 per cent by the end of August.

The progress of North Yorkshire’s ‘Developing Stronger Families’ programme means that children are back in school where they were previously playing truant or excluded; high levels of youth crime and anti-social behaviour are down; adults are getting off benefits and into work; and the costs to local public services and burden on the taxpayer are being reduced too.

North Yorkshire County Council believes its scheme remains on track to meet its target of turning around 845 families by the time the Government programme ends in 2015. The authority also intends that the model it has developed for achieving this success will form the basis long-term of helping to transform the lives of the most challenging families.

County Councillor Tony Hall, North Yorkshire’s Executive Member for Children’s Services said: This success is a tribute to the continuing dedication of our front-line workers to challenge and support families, as well as to our work with a range of partners on key issues.

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.

North Yorkshire has been clear-sighted and remains very focused in tackling the nature of this task because it has confidence in the effectiveness of the strategy. We can see 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.

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