MORE than 100 households where joblessness, truancy from school, and crime and anti-social behaviour was a problem have been helped by Harrow Council.
The Cabinet Office reports that the lives and prospects of 105 families have been “turned around” by the authority through the Government's Troubled Families scheme, and the Conservative-run council would have earned up to £4,000 in each case under the payment-by-results system.
Troubled families are defined as households who are involved in crime and anti-social behaviour, have children absent from school, have an adult on out-of-work benefits and are drains on public finances.
Wendy Beeton, divisional director for early intervention services, said: “So far we have transformed the lives of 105 families through our Families First scheme, which offers families intensive practical support with parenting, help to find employment and to improve school attendance.
“The scheme also helps to break the cycle of crime and anti-social behaviour, and reduces the cost to the taxpayer of dealing with these issues.
“Harrow Council is in the top 10 nationally when it comes to getting parents back into work through the scheme and we are confident of further success.
“We continue to work closely with many families and are helping them make positive steps and changes that will lead to a better future.”
Councils were asked to identify those who met the criteria - 365 families in Harrow - before arranging intensive intervention to assist those affected.
By the end of March, the council was working with 85 per cent of, or 336, families.
Of those, Harrow Council had ‘turned around’ 27 per cent of identified families by ensuring the children were back into school and any fixed-term exclusions were reduced at the same time as cutting crime and anti-social behaviour committed by family members or by helping an adult find permanent work within the last six months.
Brent Council identified 810 families, was working with 68 per cent of them - 554 - at the end of March and claimed the success fee for reaching the milestone for 22 per cent, equating to 178 families.