Troubled Families Scheme: LGA calls for continued funding, Brokenshire wants it renamed

Troubled Families Scheme: LGA calls for continued funding, Brokenshire wants it renamed

The Local Government Association has called for continued funding for the Troubled Families programme after an evaluation found the scheme has helped hundreds of thousands of families.

The scheme, launched by David Cameron in 2011 after the London riots, targets families with repeating generational patterns of youth crime, long-term unemployment, teenage pregnancy and substance abuse. It was expanded in 2015.

The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government’s national evaluation found the scheme had reduced the number of children going into care by a third, reduced the proportion of adults going to prison by a quarter, and helped more people find employment.

However, Communities Secretary James Brokenshire has said the government needs to look again at the name of the programme.

He said: “At its worst, it points an accusing finger at people, who are already isolated, and says to them: ‘You are the “others” and you are not like the rest of us when, in truth, they are like the rest of us; they’ve just had a little less help, been a little less lucky and, yes, made choices themselves that haven’t led to the best outcomes. But we don’t give up on people in this country. People can make the most of a second chance. That is the lesson of the programme.”

Responding to the evaluation, Cllr Anntoinette Bramble, Chair of the Local Government Association’s Children and Young People Board, said:

“Councils have played a pivotal role in making the Troubled Families Programme a success for some of the most vulnerable families, and we urge the Government to continue funding this vital service.

“This is one of the few remaining sources of early intervention funding for councils, with the Government’s Early Intervention Grant cut by £600 million since 2013.

“However if councils are to effectively support families and intervene early, then the Government must use the Spending Review to address the wider financial pressures on services that support children and families. Children’s services alone face a £3.1 billion funding gap by 2025.”

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