Impressive results for ‘vital’ family scheme

The troubled families scheme has been successful in North Somerset.

The troubled families scheme has been successful in North Somerset. - Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

A ‘VITAL’ scheme supporting troubled families in North Somerset has seen dramatic results in the past year.

The council’s High Impact Families Programme supports ‘troubled families’ who are dealing with an average of nine serious social problems, including crime, joblessness, antisocial behaviour and truancy.

The average family within the scheme cost the taxpayer £12,000 every year but the cost of the scheme’s intervention is not even half of that, at £5,493.

North Somerset Council was criticised in 2013 after it was revealed it had turned around the lives of just 1.3 per cent of the families it was working with.

But last year that figure had improved and it was chosen to expand the scheme to work with people facing issues with domestic violence, debt and health issues.

The council has now turned around the lives of 305 families living in the district, helping them into work, education and to get over some of the obstacles they face.

The council’s executive member for children and young people’s services, Jeremy Blatchford, said: “We are getting increasing recognition for the work we are doing with troubled families.

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“This is a vital initiative – working with whole families on all of their problems and helping vulnerable young children from struggling homes to greatly improve their lives.

“We look at them as a family, as individuals and start to turn them around bit by bit. It seems it is going extremely well.

“We are a closely knit team working with a range or organisations to deliver results.

“North Somerset has one of the best performing programmes around.”