12:16PM, Wednesday 01 August 2012
An ambitious scheme to 'turn round' 140 troubled families across the Royal Borough has been unveiled.
Details of the project were outlined to councillors by the head of young people's services David Scott yesterday.
He told members of the crime and disorder scrutiny panel that 25 troubled families had already been targeted for help out of the 140 estimated by the government to be living in the borough.
It was hoped to increase this to 55 next year but Mr Scott admitted: "Whether we can get to help all 140 within the three years the IFS project is running is another matter."
The Royal Borough will be working in partnership with the NHS, Thames Valley Police, probation service, job centres and some housing associations.
Potentially the Royal Borough will receive £4,000 from the government for each family it helps - but on a 'payment by results' basis.
Initially the authority will only get 80 per cent of the potential grant if it does not succeed in 'turning round' a family, the percentage decreasing over the next three years to 60 per cent then 40 per cent.
Troubled families are identified by three criteria: involvement in crime, exclusion from school or endemic worklessness.
Louise Casey, the government appointee running the IFS project, hit the headlines last month when she called on mothers of problem children to take more personal responsibility.
Mr Scott told councillors the Royal Borough would be following this ethos.
He said: "There are a large number of families who want to change but don't know how to do it.
"We are not going to be there as friends. The aim is to be giving purposeful support rather than befriending families."
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