Bid to help 'Troubled Families is on track'
A FLAGSHIP project to help the most troubled households is on track, ministers insist, despite no problem families in Torbay yet being successfully helped.
The Troubled Families intervention scheme was unveiled by Prime Minister David Cameron at the end of 2011 to 'get to grips with the country's most difficult households'.
Within its first year the government said 187 out of 365 families in Torbay had been identified for help. Of those, 116 received 'intensive interventions' to tackle truancy, youth crime, anti-social behaviour and unemployment.
But in January, the local authority reported it had not turned around the lives of any families. The scheme is supposed to ensure children regularly attend school and are not committing crime, and that adults are in work.
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None of the 1,370 troublesome households in Devon were shown to have been 'turned around' by January, government figures confirm, with around two-thirds of councils signed up to the scheme not to have helping a single family by the start of the year.
The progress update for the three-year programme came as the government announced 150 new Jobcentre Plus advisers to work with councils getting people back to work.
Troubled households are estimated to cost the public purse in Torbay alone a potential £27.4million a year.
Communities Secretary Eric Pickles said: "The Troubled Families programme is on track, changing families for the better and reducing their impact on the communities around them, but by including a real push towards employment we will also help give a sense of purpose and aspiration to people."
POVERTY MAP: Log on to www.thisissouthdevon.co.uk to see exactly where the bay's most and least healthy areas are.