Government scheme meets target to help 120,000 troubled families 9 months earlier than planned

29 October 2014

Local Authority figures released on Tuesday (29/10/2014) suggest that 117,910 have been brought onto the Troubled Families project, with the target of 120,000 between April 2012 and May 2015 likely to be met.

The families are facing multiple problems, including high levels of truancy, youth crime, worklessness and anti-social behaviour. The aim of the programme to turn their lives around in three years.

As reported in The Guardian, Communities secretary Eric Pickles said that more than 69,000 families had already met the payment-by-results criteria by turning their lives around.

Families meet these criteria if a child is back in school where they had previously been persistently absent; if levels of youth crime and antisocial behaviour have been significantly reduced across the family; or if an adult in the home has moved off benefits and into work for three consecutive months or more.

Some have challenged these criteria, saying that they may represent a temporary improvement rather than a fundamental change in the state of the family. 

As recently as April this year the public accounts committee expressed doubts that the Troubled Families unit would meet its targets, saying that it was falling behind its timetable.