Investing in support for troubled families

Danny AlexanderYesterday Danny Alexander announced a major increase in funding for the Troubled Families programme, with an extra £200 million to be invested into the service.

He says:

Reforming how services are delivered is going to be a central part of this week’s Spending Round.

The Troubled Families programme is a radical example of how, by spending a bit more in certain areas, we can save much more in others and by doing so create a stronger economy and a fairer society.

Extending this intensive help to 400,000 more families will enable us to tackle problems such as truancy, anti-social behaviour and crime. The government is committing £200 million in funding in 2015/16 and for every £4,500 spent on a family, we can reduce the annual £15,000 cost of dealing with their problems by reducing the burden on the police, health and social services.

You can read more about the Troubled Families programme here.

* Mary Reid is a contributing editor on Lib Dem Voice. She was a councillor in Kingston upon Thames where she is still very active with the local party.

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  • jenny barnes 25th Jun '13 - 4:02pm

    I was hoping for a defiinition of ” troubled families” as the last time I heard about this it seemed to be a mixed up nonsense of people in poverty being conflated with minor criminals. Here’s the definition in the link:
    “Troubled families are those that have problems and cause problems to the community around them, putting high costs on the public sector.”
    The Windsors? Cameron? Undercover police? Jeremy Hunt?
    Completely meaningless. Let’s talk about grinding the face of the undeserving poor some more. (snark off)

  • Do the maths work in this piece???

    £200,000,000 / 400,000 families equates to £500 per new family.

    It then talks about the benefit of spending £4,500 per family. Should it be 40,000 new families ? Either way I’m all for this if it is an effective program.

    I do take Jenny’s point on board regarding the wording but some of the papers linked seem to show it is attempting to be evidence based…

  • Fiona White 26th Jun '13 - 8:06am

    Jenny Barnes has a good point but I think most people working in the community could identify some families where intervention by the right people and at the right time can make a lot of difference. It does involve all organisations working together and having a single named contact simplifies the whole thing. I am a firm believer than prevention is less expensive than cure but even more important than the issues of saving money, giving support in the right way can make life a lot better for the families involved. The only thing I really quarrel with is the tag “Troubled Families” but then I always hate labels which make it look as though some people are better than others.

  • I support evidence-based policy and programmes. I support helping troubled families. Where can we see how effective the trial progammes have been in reducing the sorts of interventions that will be needed to save lots of money and help these families to be less troubled?

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