Extra £500k to help hundreds of Wakefield’s troubled famililes

Eric Pickles, pictured leaving Wakefield town hall.'w8215d212
Eric Pickles, pictured leaving Wakefield town hall.'w8215d212

Work to give vulnerable children a better chance in life has been boosted with an extra £500,000 in funding for Wakefield Council.

The council said the cash would be used to expand its Troubled Families programme, which has already changed the lives of more than 900 households in the district.

Troubled families are defined by the government as those who are on out-of-work benefits, have problems with in crime, anti-social behaviour and truancy from school and are costing the public sector an average of £75,000 a year.

Wakefield, which the government says is among the best-performing councils for helping troubled families, will be able to work with at least 450 more families as a result of the funding.

Coun Maureen Cummings, the council’s cabinet member for communities, said: “We’re delighted that our work has been recognised and that we will be able to help even more families tackle the root causes of their problems.”

Wakefield Council will receive an £800 payment from the government for each family who no longer need intensive support after being helped by the initiative.

The council said the lives of 930 district families had already been turned around.

The expanded programme would have a particular focus on improving the physical and mental health of troubled families.

Coun Cummings added: “Many of the families welcome our support and there are massive savings to the public purse from the reduced need for police intervention to a decrease in costs to the NHS.”

The extra funding was announced by Eric Pickles, the government’s communities secretary,

He said: “The programme has been a brilliant partnership between the government and councils, changing the way services are run, saving taxpayers money and turning around the lives of some of the hardest to help in the country, with kids back in school, youth crime and anti-social behaviour cut and adults better able to work.”