Budget 2014: Troubled Families expansion brought forward

By Derren Hayes

| 20 March 2014

The expansion of the government's Troubled Families programme is to be speeded up, the Chancellor announced in the Budget.

The Troubled Families programme works with young people involved in antisocial behaviour.

The £450m initiative that targets intensive support at the 120,000 families with the most entrenched problems, such as long-term parental unemployment, antisocial behaviour and children not attending school, will now work with an additional 40,000 families in 2014/15.

Last June, the government announced it would pump an extra £200m into expanding the programme in 2015/16 so that it would reach a potential 400,000 additional families.

The announcement in the Budget will mean councils can start working with some of these additional families a year earlier than planned.

David Simmonds, chairman of the Local Government Association’s children and young people board, said the announcement was recognition by the government of councils’ good work under the programme. 

“The commitment to enable councils to help more families access the Troubled Families programme earlier will mean we are able to do more of the essential work that has already seen 62,000 families getting the help that they need,” he said.

“We will now look to work with the government on the details to ensure that there is as little bureaucracy around the programme as possible so that councils can continue to lead the process and concentrate their efforts on helping families.

"The success of the Troubled Families programme should serve as a lesson to the rest of government in the savings and improvements to public services that can be achieved by adopting a community budget approach to delivering other local services."

Under the programme councils front 60 per cent of the cost of working with families, with the government paying the remaining 40 per cent based on results against seven improvement criteria.

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