Council chiefs in St Helens have been praised for their track record in turning around the lives of troubled families in the borough.
The council and its key partners signed up to the Troubled Families project in March 2012 – when it was set a target of identifying and ‘turning around’ 520 local families over the following three years by working with them in a practical, coordinated way.
Families need to know that something new and additional is on offer to help them make improvementsCoun Sue Murphy, cabinet member for Children, Families and Young People
In St Helens 96 per cent of those families identified have now met the criteria of a successful intervention – with children going back to school, reduced youth crime and/or anti-social behaviour and adults gaining employment.
The council’s success means that it is now set to play a part in the expanded national programme – which will be reaching out to some of the borough’s most challenging and complex families over the next five years.
Re-branded locally as the Priority Families programme, the initiative will adopt a new approach - using a family intervention model that provides practical support to families to help them make positive changes.
Coun Sue Murphy, cabinet member for Children, Families and Young People, said: “Families need to know that something new and additional is on offer to help them make improvements.
“We’ll be doing this by ensuring that every Priority Family has a ‘lead professional’ who can access enhanced support for families.
“The lead professionals will be able to tap into targeted resources and interventions on behalf of their Priority Family - such as family intervention workers, Home-Start volunteers, and employment advisors.”