Council will deal with troubled families

STAFF dedicated to working with Derbyshire’s most difficult families will be appointed in the county using at least £800,000 in Government cash.

They will be working on the Coalition Government’s national Troubled Families project, which wants councils to work with their most difficult residents to help reduce things like anti-social behaviour, crime and health problems.

In Derbyshire County Council’s area it is estimated there are about 1,355 such families.

The Government says there are 120,000 problem families nationally, which cost the economy £8 billion a year.

Money has been awarded to the county council for staff to get the schemes up and running.

Derbyshire has been given £175,000 a year for three years to get the programmes started.

Some of the cash will be spent on new co-ordinators who will be in charge of bringing together staff from different agencies, such as health and benefits teams, to work with the families.

A Troubled Families Co-ordinator who will work with council staff and other organisations to reduce youth offending and anti-social behaviour, improve school attendance and increase the numbers of people in work and has already been appointed.

Money will also be spent on administration and setting up new computer systems.

The Government defines “troubled families” as having five of seven characteristics.

They are: no one in the family is in work, they live in poor or overcrowded housing, no parent has any qualifications, the mother has mental health problems, at least one parent has a long-standing illness, disability or infirmity, an inability to afford several food or clothing items or the family has a low income.

The council said it would find money to run the scheme from “existing resources”.